Every element on the periodic chart is radioactive, although : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Every element on the periodic chart is radioactive, although

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10 Jan 2009, 22:55
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Every element on the periodic chart is radioactive, although the most stable elements have half-lives which are thousands and thousands of years long. When an atom decays, it splits into two or more smaller atoms. Even considering the fusion taking place inside of stars, there is only a negligible tendency for smaller atoms to transmute into larger ones. Thus, the ratio of lighter to heavier atoms in the universe is increasing at a measurable rate.

Which of the following sentences provides the most logical continuation of this paragraph?

(A) Without radioactive decay of atoms, there could be no solar combustion and no life as we know it.
(B) Therefore, it is imperative that scientists begin developing ways to reverse the trend and restore the proper balance between the lighter and heavier elements.
(C) Consequently, it is possible to use a shifting ratio of light to heavy atoms to calculate the age of the universe.
(D) Therefore, there are now more light elements in the universe than heavy ones.
(E) As a result, the fusion taking place inside stars has to produce enough atoms of the heavy elements to offset the radioactive decay of large atoms elsewhere in the universe.
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11 Jan 2009, 06:56
Pretty tough CR - I chose C.
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11 Jan 2009, 14:27
botirvoy wrote:
Pretty tough CR - I chose C.

Why C? How can you calculate the age of the universe? any explanation or POE?
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11 Jan 2009, 15:35
vscid wrote:
Every element on the periodic chart is radioactive, although the most stable elements have half-lives which are thousands and thousands of years long. When an atom decays, it splits into two or more smaller atoms. Even considering the fusion taking place inside of stars, there is only a negligible tendency for smaller atoms to transmute into larger ones. Thus, the ratio of lighter to heavier atoms in the universe is increasing at a measurable rate.

Which of the following sentences provides the most logical continuation of this paragraph?

(A) Without radioactive decay of atoms, there could be no solar combustion and no life as we know it.
(B) Therefore, it is imperative that scientists begin developing ways to reverse the trend and restore the proper balance between the lighter and heavier elements.
(C) Consequently, it is possible to use a shifting ratio of light to heavy atoms to calculate the age of the universe.
(D) Therefore, there are now more light elements in the universe than heavy ones.
(E) As a result, the fusion taking place inside stars has to produce enough atoms of the heavy elements to offset the radioactive decay of large atoms elsewhere in the universe.

This is how I came with C:
The paragraph ends talking about measurements so that's a clue
A - Solar combustion? this was never discussed
B - Imperative? Why is it imperative?
C- Looks ok
D - More light elements? We are only told about that the RATIO is increasing att a measurable rate
E - Fusion taking place?
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11 Jan 2009, 22:58
Should be C
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11 Jan 2009, 23:26
realy tough......
I have a doubt b/w C & E.....
but i would choose E as my answer
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12 Jan 2009, 01:42
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C is clearly the correct answer. My explanation is in RED.

Every element on the periodic chart is radioactive, although the most stable elements have half-lives which are thousands and thousands of years long. When an atom decays, it splits into two or more smaller atoms. Even considering the fusion taking place inside of stars, there is only a negligible tendency for smaller atoms to transmute into larger ones. Thus, the ratio of lighter to heavier atoms in the universe is increasing at a measurable rate.

Which of the following sentences provides the most logical continuation of this paragraph?

(A) Without radioactive decay of atoms, there could be no solar combustion and no life as we know it.
No mention of Solar Combustion in the question stem.We cannot have a new idea/information in a logical continuation.It should be deducted from the stem.
(B) Therefore, it is imperative that scientists begin developing ways to reverse the trend and restore the proper balance between the lighter and heavier
elements.
Does not sound logical. Nothing has been told why should they reverse the trend. Moreover "eliments" instead of "atom".
(C) Consequently, it is possible to use a shifting ratio of light to heavy atoms to calculate the age of the universe.
As "the ratio of lighter to heavier atoms in the universe is increasing at a measurable rate." we can use this trend to calculate the age of universe. For example If in 2009, heavy: light= 4:10 ; 2000 years back, heavy: light=3:10 ; 4000 years back, heavy:light=2:10. And the same ratio is 1:10 in a new universe, most probably(in case of straight line equation) it will be 6000 years old
(D) Therefore, there are now more light elements in the universe than heavy ones.
Cannot be concluded, only the ratio of lighter to heavy atoms is increasing. There can be more heavy atoms still now. "Elements" instead of "atom"
(E) As a result, the fusion taking place inside stars has to produce enough atoms of the heavy elements to offset the radioactive decay of large atoms elsewhere in the universe.
Not a logical continuation of the idea given in the question. As a result of what? It suggests, as a result of the increasing ratio??? Moreover,why the fusions will work to offset the radioactive decay
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12 Jan 2009, 08:33
went with E. Will try to explain if correct.
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12 Jan 2009, 19:59
OA C.
good job explaining sandip. +1.
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12 Jan 2009, 23:15
@Sandip, +1 from me too
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# Every element on the periodic chart is radioactive, although

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