The Evolution of Scientific Knowledge: From Certainty to Uncertainty

The Evolution of Scientific Knowledge: From Certainty to Uncertainty
Author(s):    Edward R. Dougherty
Published:   2016
DOI:             10.1117/3.2263362
eISBN: 9781510607361  |  Print ISBN13: 9781510607354
Description:

This book aims to provide scientists and engineers, and those interested in scientific issues, with a concise account of how the nature of scientific knowledge evolved from antiquity to a seemingly final form in the Twentieth Century that now strongly limits the knowledge that people would like to gain in the Twenty-first Century. Some might think that such issues are only of interest to specialists in epistemology (the theory of knowledge); however, today’s major scientific and engineering problems—in biology, medicine, environmental science, etc.—involve enormous complexity, and it is precisely this complexity that runs up against the limits of what is scientifically knowable.

To understand the issue, one must appreciate the radical break with antiquity that occurred with the birth of modern science in the Seventeenth Century, the problems of knowledge and truth engendered by modern science, and the evolution of scientific thinking through the Twentieth Century.

The authors provide a unified, self-contained treatment of the theory, practice, and applications of shearographic interferometry with problems and questions. The book will meet the requirements of graduate students, as well as be of assistance in research and industry applications.

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Since the second industrial revolution, industry has been seeking more efficient measuring and testing methods with the aim of reaching higher production quality and reliability. With the invention of the first functioning laser in 1960, a modern evolution of optical measurement methods began.1 Laser-based modern optical measurement methods have the advantages of extremely high sensitivity and noncontact, which make them ideal for use in nondestructive, online, and full-field testing in industrial applications. Shearography, also called speckle pattern shearing interferometry, is a measurement technique based on laser speckle pattern interferometry. It measures the gradient of the deformation. In order to provide a better understanding of the digital shearography technique, this chapter gives a brief review of basic optics principles by reviewing the properties of lasers, wave equations, and the speckle pattern phenomenon.

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