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Got a brain-bending question about how the world works — but no experiment to do or equipment to use that can answer it?

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The world's great scientists know that creativity is key when it comes to scientific thinking. Some of the most famous theories have popped out of thought experiments — fantastic ways to wonder what the world would be like if things were different.

What do you need to perform a thought experiment? Not a laboratory, not tons of machinery, not a degree in rocket science — only your imagination!

To be a thought experimenter, here's what to do:

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Albert Einstein was a master at thought experiments. Once, when someone asked Einstein where his laboratory was, he pointed to his pen!

Take your scientific creativity for a spin with these thought experiments:

Image Credits:

Photos: satellite: courtesy of NASA; Illustrations: Newton's Ball and Light Speed: Eric Hamilton