Spectroscopic analysis has revealed the existence of frozen : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Spectroscopic analysis has revealed the existence of frozen

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Spectroscopic analysis has revealed the existence of frozen [#permalink]

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10 May 2012, 08:44
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Spectroscopic analysis has revealed the existence of frozen nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide on the surface of Pluto. Such ices have a tendency to vaporize, producing an atmosphere. Since the proportion of any gas in such an atmosphere depends directly on how readily the corresponding ice vaporizes, astronomers have concluded that the components of Plutoâ€™s atmosphere are nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane, in order of decreasing abundance.

The astronomers' argument relies on which one of the following assumptions?

(A) There is no more frozen nitrogen on the surface of Pluto than there is either frozen carbon monoxide or methane.
(B) Until space probes reach Pluto, direct analysis of the atmosphere is impossible.
(C) There is no frozen substance on the surface of Pluto that vaporizes more readily than methane but less readily than carbon monoxide.
(D) Nitrogen is found in the atmosphere of a planet only if nitrogen ice is found on the surface of that planet.
(E) A mixture of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane is characteristic of the substances from which the Solar System formed.

OA is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
C.

I agree with the OA. However, I have a doubt with choice A. If we use the negation technique, and we assume that "there is MORE frozen nitrogen on the surface of Pluto than there is either frozen carbon monoxide or methane". The conclusion could be weakened. Let me explain:

The argument says that the the RATE OF EVAPORIZATION of each ice (readiness) determines the proportion of each gas in the atmosphere. However, let's suppose that Nitrongen (the most abundant in atmosphere) has the lowest rate of evaporation but it is the most abundant as ice on the surface ( my negation technique). Nitrogen would be the most abundant in atmosphere not by the rate of evaporization, but by the amount of nitrogen on the surphace. The reasoning of the author would be weakened

Thanks!
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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12 May 2012, 15:47
Hi Metallicafan,

It seems as though you are making your own assumption when you defend (A). That for there to be more nitrogen in the atmosphere, there need only be more frozen nitrogen. If that were the case, then the answer could be (A).

Also, I think that when the argument says, "Since the proportion of any gas..." that is a premise upon which the conclusion (the distribution of methane, etc.) is based. When looking for an assumption, we want to find that gap between the premise and the conclusion.

Let me know if that makes sense
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15 May 2012, 13:07
The conclusion states that, in decreasing abundance, the elements on Pluto are nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane. This conclusion assumes that there are no other elements that would disrupt this ranking. Namely, an element that would vaporize less readily than carbon monoxide or more readily than methane.

Hope that helps!
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22 May 2012, 06:53
ChrisLele wrote:
The conclusion states that, in decreasing abundance, the elements on Pluto are nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane. This conclusion assumes that there are no other elements that would disrupt this ranking. Namely, an element that would vaporize less readily than carbon monoxide or more readily than methane.

Hope that helps!

I am confused with the wording of C. Using the data, can't we say that Nitrogen is the third gas that vaporizes more readily than carbon monoxide?

I took Choice D to mean that the analogy would hold true for other gases as well. Does not that make it a good choice?
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09 Apr 2014, 21:14
ChrisLele wrote:
The conclusion states that, in decreasing abundance, the elements on Pluto are nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane. This conclusion assumes that there are no other elements that would disrupt this ranking. Namely, an element that would vaporize less readily than carbon monoxide or more readily than methane.

Hope that helps!

what if the volume of surface elements other than given in premise are very less but they vaporize more readily than these.
Hence they wont affect the rankings.
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Re: Spectroscopic analysis has revealed the existence of frozen [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2014, 15:46
even if any 4th gas exist, it can fit anywhere without disturbing the order of decreasing abundance.

Nitrogen is more than CO2 \\ CO2 is more than CH4

I am not sure how C is disturbing this order of decreasing abundance ?
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Re: Spectroscopic analysis has revealed the existence of frozen [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2014, 02:33
I see D as a contender too..

1/4 of the Pluto's surface is covered with Nitrogen Ice...1/4 Is Methane and..1/4 is CO2...1/4 is Miscellaneous

Astronomers predict Nitrogen is most abundant followed by methane and CO2..
Basis of Prediction:
As they are present on the surface in Ice forms and the tendency of Nitrogen to vaporize is the highest among the 3..Thus Nitrogen will exist in Pluto's atmosphere and that it will be the most abundant gas

Scenarios:
But what if there is a Volcano emitting Nitrogen gas..Though this fact does not disrupt the ranking..it shows an underlying assumption which is - the astronomers predict that Nitrogen is produced only thru the processes stated in the premise
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Last edited by JusTLucK04 on 30 Apr 2014, 07:25, edited 1 time in total.
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27 Apr 2014, 22:37
ChrisLele wrote:
The conclusion states that, in decreasing abundance, the elements on Pluto are nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane. This conclusion assumes that there are no other elements that would disrupt this ranking. Namely, an element that would vaporize less readily than carbon monoxide or more readily than methane.

Hope that helps!

Please can you explain it further???
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Spectroscopic analysis has revealed the existence of frozen [#permalink]

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15 May 2015, 10:02
I also think that (D) can be the correct answer.Can someone give a detail explanation of why (C) is better than (D).Thx!
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Re: Spectroscopic analysis has revealed the existence of frozen [#permalink]

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18 May 2016, 06:19
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Re: Spectroscopic analysis has revealed the existence of frozen [#permalink]

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18 Dec 2016, 11:51
I am fairly certain the OA is incorrect. I'm not seeing the logic at all.

D seems to be the correct answer. The conclusion is the proportions of each gas in the atmosphere. The conclusion is based on the premise that the rates in which the ice from each gas vaporizes establish the proportions in the atmosphere. However, if a gas already exists in the atmosphere, independent of ice on the surface, the proportions in the atmosphere would be different than the rate in which each gas vaporizes.

The assumption that evaporation is the only source of gas in the atmosphere is necessary to infer that the rate at which the gases vaporize determines their proportions in the atmosphere. This would suggest D.

The order of gases listed in C suggests to me that C is incorrect.
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Spectroscopic analysis has revealed the existence of frozen [#permalink]

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18 Dec 2016, 21:49
thehockeydman wrote:
I am fairly certain the OA is incorrect. I'm not seeing the logic at all.

D seems to be the correct answer. The conclusion is the proportions of each gas in the atmosphere. The conclusion is based on the premise that the rates in which the ice from each gas vaporizes establish the proportions in the atmosphere. However, if a gas already exists in the atmosphere, independent of ice on the surface, the proportions in the atmosphere would be different than the rate in which each gas vaporizes.

The assumption that evaporation is the only source of gas in the atmosphere is necessary to infer that the rate at which the gasses vaporize determines their proportions in the atmosphere. This would suggest D.

The order of gasses listed in C suggests to me that C is incorrect.

I understand what you are saying, but think like this- we know that there IS nitrogen ice on Pluto as per premise (1st sentence). Now if nitrogen has maximum rate of evaporation then, combined with already existing nitrogen vapor, it will remain 1st in that order. Option C, whereas helps in disrupting the order. It is not the ideal choice but best among the lot
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Re: Spectroscopic analysis has revealed the existence of frozen [#permalink]

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18 Dec 2016, 22:14
What's the OA...I highly doubt that it's C

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Re: Spectroscopic analysis has revealed the existence of frozen   [#permalink] 18 Dec 2016, 22:14
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