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Models in Science

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Models in Science. What do a crash-test dummy, a mathematical equation and a road map have in common?. They are all models that represent real things. Why are models necessary?. Models can help you visualize, or picture in your mind, something that is difficult to see or understand.

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Presentation Transcript
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What do a crash-test dummy, a mathematical equation and a road map have in common?

They are all models that represent real things.

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Why are models necessary?

  • Models can help you visualize, or picture in your mind, something that is difficult to see or understand.
  • Models can be of things that are too small to see or …
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Models also can be of things that can’t be seen because they don’t exist anymore or they haven’t been created yet.

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Physical Models

  • Models that you can see and touch are called physical models.
  • Examples include things such as a tabletop solar system, a globe of Earth, a cell, or model of a chemical compound.
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Computer Models

  • Computer models are built using computer software.
  • You can’t touch them, but you can view them on a computer screen.
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Some computer models can model events that take a long time or take place too quickly to see.

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Concept/Idea Models

  • Some models are ideas or concepts that describe how someone thinks about something in the natural world.
  • Albert Einstein is famous for his theory of relativity.
  • One of the most famous models Einstein used for his theory is the mathematical equation E = mc².
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Using Models

  • Not all models are for scientific purposes.
  • You use models, and you might not realize it.
  • Drawings, maps, recipes, and globes are all examples of models.
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The solar system is too large to be viewed all at once, so models are made to understand it.

  • Many years ago, scientists thought that Earth was the center of the universe and the sky was a blanket that covered the planet.
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Models Change

  • Later, through more observation, it was discovered that the Sun is the center of the solar system.
  • In addition, it was discovered that there were other planets.
  • A new model was developed to show this.
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Models Change

  • Earlier models of the solar system were not meant to be misleading.
  • Scientists made the best models they could with the information they had.
  • Models are not necessarily perfect
  • They have limitations but they provide a visual tool to learn from.
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Limitations of Models

  • They don’t match the real size.
  • They don’t look exactly like the real thing they represent.
  • They are only as good as the information or data that was used to create them.
  • They change with time as new observations provide new evidence
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