Abstract

This article examines how physicists use stories in doing physics and in understanding who they are in relation to other physicists. In particular, the article explores how physicists: 1) use narratives of past research successes as a way of teaching the elusive process of "doing good physics"; 2) use narratives of past failures as "cautionary tales" that allow listeners to learn from the mistakes of others without suffering the embarrassing or potentially dangerous consequences of making similar mistakes; and 3) use narratives as metatheoretical commentaries to highlight relationships between theory, experiment, and the "real world" of human interaction.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0413
Print ISSN
0737-7037
Pages
pp. 149-173
Launched on MUSE
2006-10-10
Open Access
No
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