Experiments and theory

I want to emphasize, however, that the role of numerical simulation at best is not essentially different from that of carefully controlled experimentation, especially in situations like this where the underlying physical model seems well understood. Experiments, both real and numerical, can test existing theoretical ideas and inspire new ones, but cannot substitute for fundamental theory.

J S Langer, Models of pattern formation in first-order phase transitions, in Directions in condensed matter physics: memorial volume in honor of Shang-keng Ma, Edited by G Grinstein and G Mazenko, World Scientific, 1986.

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