The Changing Role of Scientific Experiment
Practical realism is focused on the problem of how science really works. In the case of physics and chemistry, experiment is the centrepiece of scientific practice. The rapid development of contemporary natural science does not leave the experiment unaffected. The classical experiment is normally applied only to systems that can be considered structurally stable, repeatability being the key feature. After the introduction of the theoretical basis of irreversibility by Ilya Prigogine the essence of the experiment changed. The strict requirement of repeatability has to be dropped. It will be discussed, whether the change is big enough for calling it revolutionary. There are means to update the understanding of the experiment by applying the experimental settings. The material experiment will probably be with us forever but its position on the scientific landscape will be shifted.