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 l.jpg

Scientific Models in Astronomy

Patterns: find, explain, predict, and understand


Models l.jpg
Models

  • Tools for thought and imagination

  • Verbal, graphical, physical, mechanical, analogical, mathematical

  • Include only most important features (as simple as possible)


Scientific models l.jpg
Scientific Models

  • Explain: Current (and past!) observations

  • Predict: Future observations

  • Changeable: To match observations better

  • Must be able to prove them “wrong” (falsifiable)


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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


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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


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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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