Precision physics at future colliders requires highly granular calorimeters to support the particle flow approach for event reconstruction. This article presents a review of about 10-15 years of research and development, mainly conducted within the CALICE Collaboration, for this novel type of detector. The performance of large-scale prototypes in beam tests validates the technical concept of particle flow calorimeters. The comparison of test-beam data with simulation, of, e.g., hadronic showers, supports full detector studies and gives deeper insight into the structure of hadronic cascades than was possible previously.
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