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

Wenmackers, S. & Vanpoucke, D. E. P., Aug-2012, In : Statistica Neerlandica. 66, 3, p. 339-355 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Sylvia Wenmackers
  • Danny E. P. Vanpoucke

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-355
Number of pages17
JournalStatistica Neerlandica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2012


  • empirical models, scientific models, philosophy of science, NANOWIRES

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