Examples of Scientific Model

A scientific model It is an abstract and conceptual way of representing reality, in which processes or dynamics are described according to what is established in a certain scientific theory. It is a graphic or visual representation of a segment of reality that is explained by a scientific theory, to facilitate its visualization and understanding.

The construction of models is an important step in the process of obtaining scientific knowledge, and for this, scientists resort to disciplines such as methodology, philosophy of science or general systems theory. The idea is that a scientific model accompanies a scientific theory (however, one should not be confused with the other) and collaborates in the perception of the final processes and results that the application of said theory would give to a determined scenario. The same theory can have different models to be explained.

Scientific models are built from input data (input) and a result or output (output), as described by the theory. However, the operating rules within the model will largely depend on the scientific field to which the model belongs.

Types of scientific models

Scientific models can be classified as follows:

Examples of scientific models

Some examples of scientific models are:

  1. computer molecular simulations. It is a model that consists of a series of techniques for making models of substances, whether for chemistry, biology, physics or other material sciences. To do this, computer programs capable of reproducing the appearance and dynamics of atoms and molecules are used.
  2. Luttinger’s fluid. It is a theoretical model to describe the behavior of electrons (or other similar particles) in a one-dimensional conductor (such as carbon nanotubes), and it was created because the Fermi liquid does not work in only one dimension. This model was first proposed in 1950 and consists of a complex mathematical model.
  3. The D.A.R.T. model. It is a model of radiative transport in three dimensions, whose name corresponds to the acronym in English of Discrete Anisotropic Radiative Transfer (Discrete Anisotropic Radiative Transfer). It is carried out through a software free for scientific activities, developed since 1992 and patented in 2003.
  4. The planet formation shower model. It is a conceptual model used by planetary science to describe the first stage of planetary differentiation and formation of planetary nuclei, according to which every planetary body is made up of a mixture of nickel and iron, subjected to such high temperatures that they melt to form a immiscible emulsion, which allows gravity to cause a “rain” of metal into the planet, thus forming the core of the planet. With this model (and the theory that goes with it) the formation of all known planets can be explained.
  5. The Swiss cheese model. It is a conceptual and analogical model widely used in risk analysis and risk management, proposed by James T. Reason. He tries to explain the causality of air, sea or health accidents, through the metaphor of Swiss cheese, whose large holes remain at disparate levels when one cuts it into slices. Likewise, defenses against disaster operate, like those barriers, throwing failures every time two holes coincide momentarily and allow the passage of an imaginary object.
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References

  • “Scientific model” on Wikipedia.
  • “Scientific models” in Educ.ar.
  • “Scientific models” in the Austral Interdisciplinary Dictionary.
  • “On scientific models” in Training ib.