I'm looking for a synonym(?) for ‘test subject’ that is applicable when the subject is an inanimate object.
I've tried using the thesaurus looking for synonyms of 'test subject' but it's only offering me alternatives that describe a living subject such as 'guinea pig'.
The phrase it's being used in would be:
Here is an overview of the test subjects being used for this experiment
I've considered the following words:
But these all feel like they are referring to a person or an animal instead of to an inanimate object. I'd prefer the word to be formal as it's being used in a research context. The 'best' word would be a single word that implicitly conveys the fact that the subject of the sentence is in fact, an inanimate object.
Note: The reason that ‘subject’ is not applicable lies in its definition:
subject - 6. a person who is subjected to experimental or other observational procedures; someone who is an object of investigation; "the subjects for this investigation were selected randomly"; "the cases that we studied were drawn from two different communities"