Allan Franklin

Allan Franklin


University of Colorado

Department of Physics

Monday, September 27, 2010

4:00 p.m.

Cardwell 102

Experiment, Then and Now


One interesting aspect of high-energy physics from the 1960s to the present has been the changes in the statistical criterion required for a discovery claim. In this talk I will discuss these changes as well as other changes in the reporting of experimental results, particularly those involving elementary particles from 1893, the publication date of Volume 1 of Physical Review to the present. Topics will include the problem of exclusion of data and the selection of data, the scale of experiments, the change in from a very realistic presentation of an experiment to a more schematic presentation, and the amount of historical detail presented. Examples will include Robert Millikan’s oil drop experiments, Edwin Hall’s experiments on falling bodies, and some recent experiments on the pentaquark.