Friday, September 17, 2010

Computer simulations versus "real" experiments

In order to pursue online instruction there is a desire to use computer simulations in place of "real"
experiments.  We even hear those who claim simulations are "just as good as" real experiments.

There are various important ways in which simulations differ from real experiments but the bottom
line is:

simulations only contain the physics that you understand and were able to program in,
real experiments also contain all the physics you haven't thought of, don't understand,
and haven't included.

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