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Young and Fresnel : a case-study investigating the progress of the wave theory in the beginning of the nineteenth century in the light of its implications to the history and methodology of science

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2013
Kulandina, Yevgeniya
This thesis aims to analyze how Thomas Young and Augustine Fresnel were successful in developing the wave theory of light at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes will be used as the tool of analysis. Such a case-study will give the possibility to access the relative merits of the chosen methodology as well – it will help to point to the benefits of the method and to the parts which are open to further modification. That in turn will allow to discuss general issues appearing in the history and methodology of science, such as the applicability of a certain set of methodological rules to the process of theory-change throughout the flow of scientific development, the status of these rules as a guarantee of objectivity of scientific theories, and the possibility of scientific inquiry as objective process.