Schrodinger’s (1935) famous thought experiment involves putting a cat in a box for one hour with a device containing radioactive material. The Geiger counter has an exact 50/50 chance of detecting radioactive decay.
Should the Geiger counter detect the radioactive decay it triggers a hammer which smashes a beaker of cyanide which will kill the cat. Or not – its 50/50.
The whole point of the experiment is to show the absurdity of the Copenhagen interpretation of physics. Which basically says that you only know the position of particles, including cats, when you observe them.
Thus, according to Schrodinger, on this interpretation the cat is simultaneously alive and dead at the same time.
Of course this seems paradoxical, it’s supposed to be. However, this is what OCD thoughts can feel like: both true and untrue at the same time. This is the madness of the disorder at its worst. The thoughts become like Schrodinger’s Cat. Stuck in the horror of not being able to distinguish between true and false; even if on some level you know you have OCD. Your intuitions are clouded and you cannot see in the box like with any other thoughts.
Compulsions keep the cat in the box.
Note: after writing this short post, when testing Google results, I noticed a similar interpretation online here by Roger Keen on Medium (well written piece even though I disagree with certain points). I honestly did not see his post before writing. But please check his article out also.