Sometimes when there is no way of doing the real experiment we do thought iksperiments.
Sometimes we do thought iksperiments because they are easy and cheap.
I do hundreds of thought iksperiments for each real iksperiment I do.
Thought iksperiments reduce the work necessary for real iksperiments … and … thought iksperiments can prevent lots of disasters …. With some good creative thought iksperiments I can have lots of mental iksplosions and catastrophes and never need to ikperience them in real life …. Sometimes the iksplosions and catastrophes might generate enough fear that I never do the real iksperiment.
Real iksperiments sometimes have beneficial unexpected consequences …. Like when Charles Goodyear accidentally vulcanized rubber and changed the world …. It lead to understanding of polymerization and cross-linking … which led to synthetic rubber and modern plastics
Or … when Percy LeBaron Spencer was experimenting with a magnetron … The microwaves melted a candy bar that was in his pocket … this led to the development of the microwave oven.
… another good example was when the iksperimentalist discovered toasted gizzard juice … this could change the world ….
Thought iksperiments also can have unexpected beneficial consequences …. I know …. it has happened to me …. I was thinking about one problem and unexpectedly ambled onto some other discovery.
Thought iksperiments can be a lot more fun than real iksperiments … real iksperiments require real facts and real data … and …. you don’t run a high risk of finding out that your hypothesis was wrong and you were not so smart after all … I will admit that this has happened to me …. After hours and hours and days and weeks of dwelling on a wonderful idea …. I come face to face with the reason it wouldn’t work …. It was quite disheartening ….
The way to avoid this is a good strong dose of denial and lots of money to set up grants to prove why your lies are true …. The government does this quite often.
There have been thought iksperiments where the results were wrong … then people accepted the wrong results as fact … it all went downhill from there
This has happened a lot in politics, science, and religion …. People accepted things that were not true as fact …. Then they based other hypotheses on the false traditions …. And on and on … worse and worse …. sometimes the consequences have been dire.
Some real good, real iksperiments start as thought iksperiments.
Sometimes a whole string of thought iksperiments lead to some refined real iksperiments and lead to good results.
Over the years … throughout history …. thought iksperiments have given us some real good results and some really bad ones.
An example of a good outcome from thought iksperiments was when Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity …. From it sprang all sorts of new understanding ….. for over a hundred years scientists and mathematicians have been trying to understand Einstein’s stuff … to prove or disprove it’s tenants.
On the other hand … With thought iksperiments it is sometimes easier to manipulate the data to get the desired results …
Often scientists are so convinced of what the outcome of their research should be that they overlook the truth.
There are many examples of incorrect hypothesis that people accepted as fact … then it became a tradition and the truth was masked for a long time.
Like when people thought the world was flat …. So many ships sailed off of the edge of the world and were lost forever.
Yes …. I know there are much better examples than that.
Each of you can probably think of a few.
You are hereby encouraged and invited to tell me your examples of thought iksperiments with wonderful or dire consequences. Or even wonderfully humorous outcomes. Just submit your examples in the comment section below.