Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Thought experiment
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Thought experiment

In physics and other fields, a thought experiment (from the German Gedankenexperiment) is an attempt to solve a problem using the power of human imagination. These experiments are used to attempt to understand something about the universe. Thought experiments have been used to pose questions in philosophy at least since Greek antiquity; a famous example is Plato's Cave, but others pre-date Socrates. In physics and other sciences many famous thought experiments date from the nineteenth and especially the twentieth century, but examples can be found at least as early as Galileo.

Many thought experiments include apparent paradoxes about the known or accepted, that with time have led to the reformulation or precision of theories.

Famous thought experiments include:

Table of contents
1 Physics
2 Philosophy
3 Miscellaneous
4 External links

Physics

Philosophy

Miscellaneous

External links