Speculative Reading, Speculative Physics – the Ontology of the Large Hadron Collider
Program in Literature, Duke University, 101 Friedl Building, Durham, NC 27701, USA
The objective is to illustrate the hermeneutics of reading against the highly image-dependent (rather than object-oriented) world of experimental particle physics. Reading becomes the medium for mediating between the real and the virtual when constructing physical knowledge. “Virtual” particles, produced through material inter-course between machine and nature, are productive for rethinking the virtual/real entanglement. Reading enables a process of deconstructing and re-naturalizing microphysical trails, objects, and movements ‘transformed’ into machine code, post-detector. The process of reading is therefore the ‘detection,’ ‘observation,’ ‘measurement,’ ‘abduction,’ and ‘interpretation’ of coded information and knowledge; deciphered through data ‘selected’ for analysis, extrapolated as evidence for the confirmation/re-orientation of theoretical predictions, and included for the re-envisioning and revising of foundational explanations regarding the structure of modern physics. Reading as is explored here is about how reading as an act is inextricably linked with understanding one’s perspective and the ideology one is immersed in, thus influencing how discovery is made and articulated through theory-construction.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012