thought experiment


Definition of thought experiment 

Examples of thought experiment in a Sentence

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The challenge of creating a device that looks and functions like a real lightsaber has long been the subject of practical and thought experiments. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "This Real-Life Flaming Lightsaber Is About As Real As It Gets," 18 Dec. 2015 For this thought experiment, one of them is habitable enough to potentially host life. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "How Life Could Survive on an 'Interstellar' Black Hole Planet," 19 Jan. 2016 One of the Microsoft Aether group’s thought experiments illustrates the conundrum. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Unmasking A.I.'s Bias Problem," 25 June 2018 No matter what happens, this thought experiment proffers, someone is going to die. Betsy Morais, Longreads, "The Menace and the Promise of Autonomous Vehicles," 13 June 2018 Bush, who had taken his company from thought experiment to troposphere, couldn’t seem to keep it there—let alone launch it into a sustainable business orbit. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "The Blunt Truth About athenahealth’s Jonathan Bush," 6 June 2018 This thought experiment is a fascinating way to consider the way people live around the world, which technologies spread rapidly, and which don't. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "What Would the World Look Like if There Were Only 100 People?," 10 June 2017 And by the 1970s, new modeling and thought experiments began convincing an increasing number of researchers. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Three Scientists Behind the Detection of Gravitational Waves Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics," 3 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thought experiment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of thought experiment

1854, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for thought experiment

The first known use of thought experiment was in 1854

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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