Models and simulations in material science: two cases without error bars

Statistica Neerlandica 66 (3):339–355 (2012)
Abstract
We discuss two research projects in material science in which the results cannot be stated with an estimation of the error: a spectroscopic ellipsometry study aimed at determining the orientation of DNA molecules on diamond and a scanning tunneling microscopy study of platinum-induced nanowires on germanium. To investigate the reliability of the results, we apply ideas from the philosophy of models in science. Even if the studies had reported an error value, the trustworthiness of the result would not depend on that value alone.
Keywords philosophy of science  scientific models  philosophy of statistics  empirical models
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