The Evidence for the Top Quark offers both a historical and philosophical perspective on an important recent discovery in particle physics: evidence for the elementary particle known as the top quark. Drawing on published reports, oral histories, and internal documents from the large collaboration that performed the experiment, Kent Staley explores in detail the controversies and politics that surrounded this major scientific result. At the same time the book seeks to defend an objective theory of scientific evidence based on error probabilities. Such a theory provides an illuminating explication of the points of contention in the debate over the evidence for the top quark. Philosophers wishing to defend the objectivity of the results of scientific research must face unflinchingly the realities of scientific practice, and this book attempts to do precisely that. – Contents : – Introduction. – 1. Origins of the third generation of matter; – 2. Building a detector and a collaboration to run it; – 3. Doing physics: CDF closes in on the top; – 4. Writing up the evidence: The evolution of a result; – 5. Run Ib: 'Observation' of the top quark, and second thoughts and 'evidence'; – 6. A model of the experiment: Error statistical evidence and the top quark; – 7. Bias, uncertainty, and evidence. – Epilogue. – Includes bibliographical references (p. 317-333) and index.