[ExI] The Simulators and the Theoreticians

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Mon Dec 10 20:20:41 UTC 2007

>Computer simulations may provide occasional breakthrough insights, but
>then become widely accepted as a substitute for thinking and reasoning.

Ideally, the simulated results and the analytical results should give
you the same answer. However solving a complicated problem analytically
usually requires some simplifying assumptions. Those assumptions are
carried through the problem on a macroscale.

In simulations, one has the same physics equations, but not the same
macroscale assumptions that would be needed to analytically solve the
problem. In the results, then, one sees a global behavior and the
microscales are included, as well. Simulations shouldn't exclude
thinking and reasoning, but simulations can give unexpected results.



Amara Graps, PhD      www.amara.com
Research Scientist, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado

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