01/04/2012 02:10 pm ET Updated Jan 05, 2012

Thought Experiments: Great Fantasies In The History Of Science (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Thought experiments are meant to illustrate a scientific or philosophical point without having to do the dirty work of an actual experiment.

You may know Schroedinger's Cat, simultaneously alive and dead, or Maxwell's Demon, moving so fast it can interfere with individual molecules, but what about the ten less famous examples in the slideshow below?

From the blind man who regains his sight but can't match up his senses, to the cannon that can shoot a projectile into orbit, these thought experiments cover a broad swath of the sciences, and remind us how engaging it can be just to speculate about them.

10 Unusual Thought Experiments