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Art by: Dennis Hoogstad
Thought experiments have been conducted for centuries by some of the greatest minds in history.
At first glance, these mental exercises seem to offer little in the way of practical application.
However, the very practice of considering the extreme propositions of these puzzles can inspire new questions that lead to novel discoveries that reveal and challenge how you think.
Some of the most famous thought experiments include:
Let's make a stash of these ideas, starting with The Grandfather Paradox.
Things are only impossible until they are not.
Art by: Sofia Ayuso
What happens if someone time travels to the past and kills their grandfather before he had children?
In linear timelines that fix "the present" as a mid-point between past & future, the killer would cease to exist, therefore creating a paradox.
Other theories on time travel can potentially work around this paradox:
Art by Alex Gray
"Hilbert's paradox of the Grand Hotel AKA "Infinite Hotel Paradox" shows the counter intuitive property of infinite sets."
You have a hotel with an infinite set of rooms. Then an infinite set of guest arrive.
Will you have room for them all?
You simply move guest one to room two.
If more sets of infinite guests arrive simultaneously, you can still accommodate them all as long as you have at least one empty room.
Sounds like binary code to me...
Art by: Julia Maystruck
Schrodinger's Cat illustrates the paradox of quantum superposition: the idea that several quantum systems can exists in several quantum states at the same time.
But once you open the box the cat is either dead OR alive (not both alive & dead). So at when did quantum superposition cease & reality start?
The bartender says, "we don't serve your kind in here."
Two time travelers walk into a bar
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Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.
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