When Theories Shake Hands

in Science in the Age of Computer Simulation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780226902029
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226902050 | DOI:
When Theories Shake Hands

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This chapter explores the theories used in computer simulation. It suggests that there is a class of computer simulation models that are especially important to philosophers interested in the relations between theories at different levels of description. These are the so-called parallel multiscale simulation models, which are cobbled together using the resources of quantum mechanics, classical molecular dynamics, and the linear-elastic theory of solids. The chapter explains how it is possible for these different theoretical frameworks, which provide essentially incompatible descriptions of the underlying structure of the systems they describe, to be combined together.

Keywords: computer simulation; multiscale simulation models; quantum mechanics; classical molecular dynamics; theory of solids

Chapter.  8404 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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