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A thought experiment, a proposal for an experiment that would test or illuminate a hypothesis or theory.

Given the structure of the proposed experiment, it may or may not be possible to actually perform the experiment and, in the case that it is possible for the experiment to be performed, there may be no intention of any kind to actually perform the experiment in question.

The common goal of a thought experiment is to explore the potential consequences of the principle in question.

Famous examples of thought experiments include Schrödinger’s cat, illustrating quantum indeterminacy through the manipulation of a perfectly sealed environment and a single radioactive atom, and Maxwell’s demon, in which a supernatural being is instructed to attempt to violate the second law of thermodynamics.

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