Ever since the first computers were used, scientists have been trying to model the world around them, to improve their understanding of it. With computers becoming ever more powerful, these simulations are becoming for complex and comprehensive. Now some researchers are suggesting that the way we use and view simulations needs to be re-examined, as reported by Springer.
The researchers make multiple points in their paper about how the simulation methods being used are not always appropriate. For example, breaking something into unit cells can make macroscopic information useless, as the cell is of a finite size and what effects it may not scale up. Also some algorithms that are used within simulations can fail to produce important information concerning the simulated system, such as entropy.
Another important point the researchers make is that while newer simulation methods may have the benefit of new technology, they are not necessarily superior to older methods. Overall the researchers appear to promote a need to critically examine the use of simulations in science, to ensure the most appropriate simulation methods are used and that data from simulations are not interpreted incorrectly.