Confirmation via Analogue Simulation: What Dumb Holes Could Tell Us about Gravity

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1) (2017)
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Abstract

In this article we argue for the existence of ‘analogue simulation’ as a novel form of scientific inference with the potential to be confirmatory. This notion is distinct from the modes of analogical reasoning detailed in the literature, and draws inspiration from fluid dynamical ‘dumb hole’ analogues to gravitational black holes. For that case, which is considered in detail, we defend the claim that the phenomena of gravitational Hawking radiation could be confirmed in the case that its counterpart is detected within experiments conducted on diverse realizations of the analogue model. A prospectus is given for further potential cases of analogue simulation in contemporary science. 1 Introduction2 Physical Background2.1 Hawking radiation in semi-classical gravity2.2 Modelling sound in fluids2.3 The acoustic analogue model of Hawking radiation3 Simulation and Analogy in Physical Theory3.1 Analogical reasoning and analogue simulation3.2 Confirmation via analogue simulation3.3 Recapitulation4 The Sound of Silence: Analogical Insights into Gravity4.1 Experimental realization of analogue models4.2 Universality and the Hawking effect4.3 Confirmation of gravitational Hawking radiation5 Prospectus

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Author Profiles

Eric Winsberg
University of South Florida
Radin Dardashti
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Karim Thebault
University of Bristol

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References found in this work

Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.Thomas Reid - 1785 - University Park, Pa.: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Derek R. Brookes & Knud Haakonssen.
Science in the age of computer simulation.Eric B. Winsberg - 2010 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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