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A Defense of
Computational Physics

TABLE OF CONTENTS © Copyright 2012 by Patrick J. Roache

Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Introduction: The Need for a Defense9
 References for Chapter 116
Chapter 2
Popper's Non-Verifiability vs. Computational Validation17
2.1Background and Motivation18
2.2Popular Popper Précis19
2.4Critique Level (A). Problems for the Philosophy of Science22
2.4.1Popper Invented Falsificationism, not Falsifiability22
2.4.3Changing Terminology26
2.4.4Non-Computational Difficulties with Popper's Falsificationism28
2.5Critique Level (B). Empirical Data on Science Practice: Falsificationism Falsified31
2.6Critique Level (C). Popper's Philosophy applied to Validation in Computational Physics Modeling34
2.6.1Critique Level (C-1). Common Sense35
2.6.2Critique Level (C-2). Are Models Equivalent to Theories?36
2.6.3Critique Level (C-3). Inclusion of Popper's Numerical Universality in Validation37
2.6.4Critique Level (C-4). Popper's Truth vs. Validation Accuracy38
2.7A Provocative Example of Validation of a Computational Model45
2.8Not All Models are "Wrong" !49
2.9Limited Domain of Validation50
2.10Popper and "Normal Science" of Kuhn51
2.11Contrasting Characteristics of Popper's Falsificationism vs. Computational Model Validation53
2.13Last Gasp56
 Acknowledgements for Chapter 258
 References for Chapter 259
Chapter 3
 Validation: What Does It Mean ?63
3.2History of the Definition65
3.3Issue #1. Acceptability Criteria (Pass/Fail)67
3.4Issue #2. Necessity for Experimental Data71
3.5Issue #3. Intended Use72
3.6Recommended Interpretation and Alternative Description74
3.7Calibration is Not Validation77
3.8Implications for Contractual and Regulatory Requirements77
3.9Addendum: Expanded Definition of Validation78
 Acknowledgements for Chapter 380
 References for Chapter 381
Author Vita85
End Notes89


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