Not that much really...Experimentalists always like to say that quasi all particles were descovered by experiments. This is too naive a picture. There really has to be a bunch if clues that suggest well if we set up a specific experiment, what will we achive and what will we get ? In the case of most particles, experiments showed strange unkown and unpredicted results, so indeed there has to be something else... The actual caraterization of that "else" is done by the theorists...so i would certainly not say that electrons were discovered by experiments...that is a bit like cheating, wouldn't you say ??? I mean if there is no theory that gives hints and possible suggestions, then what does remain apart from pure luck, hat explains the "discovery"vanesch said:I don't know, apart from the high temperature superconductors, what work was actually receiving a prize for purely empirical discovery, though... Do you know of any ? Most if not all was the experimental demonstration of certain theoretical predictions, no ?