In many ways, the answer to the question of what distinguishes scientific from engineering models comes down to a matter of interpretation. Modeling in engineering can be thought of as a kind of experiment, whereby an engineer or technician breaks down a complicated system in order to create a simple one. It’s not so much a process as it is a blueprint of sorts. For example, if you were building a model of a space ship, you wouldn’t need to concern yourself with how the ship would function as it traveled through space – you’d just need to reproduce its shape in miniature form on the model. You might hope that the ship was well behaved or at least behaved according to its operational specifications, but that’s really all that there is to this sort of modeling.
Scientific Models Explained
On the other hand, if you were to study the internal combustion engine of a real airplane, you would soon find out that it has several unique characteristics that are a product of its design and how it’s built. You would soon discover that the laws of physics and other such forces of nature that govern the operation of an actual engine are completely different from those which govern the workings of these types of mechanical systems in engineering and other sciences. You would then be able to see that engineering models and experiments really are very different from the real world.
If we’re being clear, what separates scientific from engineering models is the fact that the former are “real” in the strictest sense of the word, while the latter are merely hypothetical constructs that have been built out of plastic or other non-fancy materials. The concept of what distinguishes scientific from engineering models may be somewhat unclear, but there are a few general principles that you should take note of. First, the two kinds of models can (and often do) share some physical characteristics that they have in common. For instance, both of the two kinds of models that we’ve mentioned above come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They also both have certain common properties such as having a symmetrical construction. However, that is where the similarities end.
In fact, when you compare the two you will quickly realize that while both science and engineering are modeling processes that bring about the physical world around us in some form, they are fundamentally different subjects entirely. Science deals with the measurement, observation and the manipulation of physical objects. Engineering on the other hand is focused more on the construction of a structure. While the two may seem to be very similar, the truth is that the science side of the subject is just that: a subject that engineers study while the structure is built using specific techniques and theories that are derived from the principles of engineering itself.
Why Engineering Models Are Different
So now we come to the next question: what distinguishes scientific from engineering models? To answer this question, you would need to go even further than the definition of engineering itself. For instance, did you know that engineers use the same measurements and methods of measurement throughout their various constructions? For instance, while you are building a car or a structure you are using different types of gauge for the wheels and the height of the structure as compared to the size of the structure itself.
A car, a plane, a structure and a laser all have similar sets of fundamental measurements, but their exact measurements can differ due to numerous factors. For instance, the way that a laser cuts a fiber can greatly change the length of the fiber, the angles of the cuts and the angle of the lasers as well as the type of lasers being used. In order to describe the differences between the measurements, we would need another language: the language of force. There are essentially two forms of force: kinetic and potential. Kinetic means moving energy and potential simply means power stored up as potential in a form of a force.
For the most part, engineers study the relationships between these two forms of force. For instance, a car that was traveling at the hundred mile an hour needed to be driven at a certain speed in order to not break down. It is impossible to do this without using some sort of force, and therefore, the car was forced to roll down hills. In doing so, it was necessary to apply forces to the suspension that were calculated based on the relationship between the horizontal pull of the springs and the vertical momentum of the car itself. In doing so, engineers studying the relationship between such forces were able to develop the first computer model of how such a thing works.
Now that you know what distinguishes scientific from engineering models, let’s go back to our original question: what distinguishes scientific from engineering models? The answer to that question is, obviously, the quality of the science itself. In cases of physics, it is the laws that one can observe and the theories that can be tested. With regards to biology, it is the experimental observations and the properties of living things that one can study and attempt to mimic. When looking at any model of the universe, whether it is a theory or a physical phenomenon, one should always remember that both are governed by physics, which is a field that involves countless calculations and many unknown variables.