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Peter L. Galison: Computer Simulations and the Trading Zone
Computer Simulations and the Trading Zone
(p. 97 – 130)

Peter L. Galison

Computer Simulations and the Trading Zone

PDF, 34 pages

  • history of technology
  • history of science
  • computer science
  • programming / coding
  • computer
  • computer simulation

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Peter L. Galison

is Joseph Pellegrino University Professor at the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. He is director of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments. His work explores the complex interaction between the three principal subcultures of twentieth-century physics:-experimentation, instrumentation, and theory.

Other texts by Peter L. Galison for DIAPHANES
Gabriele Gramelsberger (ed.): From Science to Computational Sciences

In 1946 John von Neumann stated that science is stagnant along the entire front of complex problems, proposing the use of largescale computing machines to overcome this stagnation. In other words, Neumann advocated replacing analytical methods with numerical ones. The invention of the computer in the 1940s allowed scientists to realise numerical simulations of increasingly complex problems like weather forecasting, and climate and molecular modelling. Today, computers are widely used as computational laboratories, shifting science toward the computational sciences. By replacing analytical methods with numerical ones, they have expanded theory and experimentation by simulation.

During the last decades hundreds of computational departments have been established all over the world and countless computer-based simulations have been conducted. This volume explores the epoch-making influence of automatic computing machines on science, in particular as simulation tools.