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Theoretical, Experimental, Simulation, and end of story?

  1. Apr 18, 2012 #1
    Theoretical, Experimental, Simulation, and.... end of story?

    I know that this question cannot be answered with any absolute authority, but I'd still like to hear some speculation.

    Can there be a next frontier in the tools of science? Previously, we had experiments and theory. Later, simulation was created with the advent of the computer.

    In analogy, we thought land, sea, and space was all that exists (heavens notwithstanding). Now, the possibility of alternate dimensions exist.

    I don't think it would of been impossible for someone in the pre-computer age to envision what a computer simulation does. In that light, what could possibly follow simulation? It really feels like the end of the road.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2012 #2

    mfb

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    Re: Theoretical, Experimental, Simulation, and.... end of story?

    Simulations in the pre-computer age were made with pen and paper. It is much more work, but everything you can simulate in the computer can be done by hand, too. Of course, if you have a supercomputer available you'll make the simulation "a bit" more complex ;).
     
  4. Apr 18, 2012 #3
    Re: Theoretical, Experimental, Simulation, and.... end of story?

    I agree with mfb, nothing a computer does is new. A computer has made doing extremely tedious and complicated tasks very very easy and efficient, but the fundamental concept is the same as it always was - simulations are simply doing calculations and making predictions based on a particular theory. It always comes down to observation -> theory -> prediction -> observation, perhaps not necessarily in that order.
     
  5. Apr 18, 2012 #4
    Re: Theoretical, Experimental, Simulation, and.... end of story?

    Simulation is nothing but prediction of theory. There's nothing new in it.
     
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