scientific models in astronomy
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Scientific Models in Astronomy. Patterns: find, explain, predict, and understand. Models. Tools for thought and imagination Verbal, graphical, physical, mechanical, analogical, mathematical Include only most important features (as simple as possible). Scientific Models.

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scientific models in astronomy

Scientific Models in Astronomy

Patterns: find, explain, predict, and understand

models
Models
  • Tools for thought and imagination
  • Verbal, graphical, physical, mechanical, analogical, mathematical
  • Include only most important features (as simple as possible)
scientific models
Scientific Models
  • Explain: Current (and past!) observations
  • Predict: Future observations
  • Changeable: To match observations better
  • Must be able to prove them “wrong” (falsifiable)
scientific models4
Scientific Models
  • Geometry: Shapes and layout (such as circles, spheres, triangles)
  • Physics: Motions and interactions of physical objects
  • Aesthetics: simple and pleasing; coherent; connected
  • Assumptions: Explicit or implicit; should be fewest necessary
information facts
Information (“Facts”)
  • We observe “data”; need meaning to become information; models make meaning, result in understanding
  • Different models can result in different facts from the same data (“model dependent”)
  • Science is the process of finding meaning in nature
models and theories
Models and Theories
  • Models can result in basic unification of observations
  • Models can open up new areas of investigation
  • Models can reveal connections not seen before
  • If powerful enough, models can be raised to theories
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