See also Section 7, Module 1. The teacher or a student would operate the keyboard, and the class would be asked to respond to what appeared on screen. The teacher might use the computer, for example, as a stimulus for eliciting oral responses from the class. This approach worked very well with a variety of programs, e.
Perhaps the key experiment in the history of modern science is Galileo 's demonstration that falling objects must fall at the same rate regardless of their masses. This is widely thought  to have been a straightforward physical demonstration, involving climbing up the Leaning Tower of Pisa and dropping two heavy weights off it, whereas in fact, it was a logical demonstration, using the 'thought experiment' technique.
The 'experiment' is described by Galileo in Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche literally, 'Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations' thus: If then we take two bodies whose natural speeds are different, it is clear that on uniting the two, the more rapid one will be partly retarded by the slower, and the slower will be somewhat hastened by the swifter.
Do you not agree with me in this opinion?
You are unquestionably right. But if this is true, and if a large stone moves with a speed of, say, eight while a smaller moves with a speed of four, then when they are united, the system will move with a speed less than eight; but the two stones when tied together make a stone larger than that which before moved with a speed of eight.
Hence the heavier body moves with less speed than the lighter; an effect which is contrary to your supposition. Thus you see how, from your assumption that the heavier body moves more rapidly than the lighter one, I infer that the heavier body moves more slowly.
Strange then, as Cohen says, that philosophers and scientists alike refuse to acknowledge either Galileo in particular, or the thought experiment technique in general for its pivotal role in both science and philosophy.
Variety[ edit ] Thought experiments have been used in a variety of fields, including philosophylawphysicsand mathematics.
In philosophy, they have been used at least since classical antiquitysome pre-dating Socrates. In law, they were well-known to Roman lawyers quoted in the Digest. Much later, Ernst Mach used the term Gedankenexperiment in a different way, to denote exclusively the imaginary conduct of a real experiment that would be subsequently performed as a real physical experiment by his students.
Mach asked his students to provide him with explanations whenever the results from their subsequent, real, physical experiment differed from those of their prior, imaginary experiment.
However, people had no way of categorizing it or speaking about it. This helps to explain the extremely wide and diverse range of the application of the term "thought experiment" once it had been introduced into English. Uses[ edit ] Thought experiments, which are well-structured, well-defined hypothetical questions that employ subjunctive reasoning irrealis moods — "What might happen or, what might have happened if.
In thought experiments we gain new information by rearranging or reorganizing already known empirical data in a new way and drawing new a priori inferences from them or by looking at these data from a different and unusual perspective.
In law, the synonym "hypothetical" is frequently used for such experiments. Regardless of their intended goal, all thought experiments display a patterned way of thinking that is designed to allow us to explain, predict and control events in a better and more productive way.
Theoretical consequences[ edit ] In terms of their theoretical consequences, thought experiments generally: However, they may make those theories themselves irrelevant, and could possibly create new problems that are just as difficult, or possibly more difficult to resolve.
In terms of their practical application, thought experiments are generally created to: In these cases, the result of the "proxy" experiment will often be so clear that there will be no need to conduct a physical experiment at all. Scientists also use thought experiments when particular physical experiments are impossible to conduct Carl Gustav Hempel labeled these sorts of experiment "theoretical experiments-in-imagination"such as Einstein's thought experiment of chasing a light beam, leading to special relativity.Control space should be within the design space, it is an upper and lower limit for raw material or a process within which parameter and material are regularly controlled which assures quality of product.
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