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According to ancient and medieval science, aether is the material that

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Re: According to ancient and medieval science, aether is the material that [#permalink]
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Piyu1 wrote:
Can Somebody explain why opt. C is correct in Q1?

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to:

A. Refute the concept of aether as a medium necessary for light waves to travel.
Incorrect. This is only a partial scope answer. Although refuting has been done early in the paragraph, that is not the whole point of the passage. Zoom out and look for the bigger picture.

B. Demonstrate that the ancient concept of aether is obsolete.
Incorrect. The last sentence of the passage denies so.

C. Discuss the history of a scientific phenomenon.
Correct. If you carefully look at the passage, you are told a "story" of how the aether was first considered in the distant past, then eventually superseded by new experiments and theories in the recent past, and NOW, once in a while, scientists bring the concept up again, whenever required. Note this time flow of the story. Hence, we are discussing the history of aether and its use as a concept in the scientific community.

D. Detail the role of aether in the laws of physics.
Incorrect. This is only a partial scope answer. Although the role of aether has been discussed early in the paragraph, that is not the whole point of the passage. Also, it has just been mentioned. No "detailing"/"elaboration" has been done. Zoom out and look for the bigger picture.

E. Show that the theory of general relativity has replaced the concept of aether.
Incorrect. This is only a partial scope answer. Although this has been mentioned only late in the paragraph, that is not the whole point of the passage. Zoom out and look for the bigger picture.
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Re: According to ancient and medieval science, aether is the material that [#permalink]
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Option C in Q1 doesn't seem apt to me.
Discuss the history of a scientific phenomenon
In the passage we are discussing about the history of aether. Its true.
But Aether is not a scientific phenomenon. It is just a material that fills the space. The concept of aether is used to explain various scientific phenomenon, aether it self is not a scientific phenomenon.
Any views on this?
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Re: According to ancient and medieval science, aether is the material that [#permalink]
akhil3101 wrote:
Option C in Q1 doesn't seem apt to me.
Discuss the history of a scientific phenomenon
In the passage we are discussing about the history of aether. Its true.
But Aether is not a scientific phenomenon. It is just a material that fills the space. The concept of aether is used to explain various scientific phenomenon, aether it self is not a scientific phenomenon.
Any views on this?

Official Explanation

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to:

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

The author of this passage is using it to provide an historical account of the concept of aether, beginning in ancient and medieval science and progressing through several studies and theories. Choice C is consistent with this.

This intent also invalidates both A and B, as the author isn’t directly trying to refute the idea of aether, but more to show how the theories that dealt with aether have evolved over time. But since aether is more a concept than a hard-and-fast fact of science,

choice D is also incorrect. And choice E does happen within the passage, but it isn’t the primary purpose; note that “general relativity” isn’t even mentioned until the last sentence, and even as it’s being discussed it’s in the “Despite…” context, noting how physicists still occasionally resurrect the idea of aether in modern models.

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According to ancient and medieval science, aether is the material that [#permalink]
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The passage is about aether and how it was initially applied to the laws of physics, then discarded and later attempted to be applied again. However aether is not a scientific phenomena. Hence answer to q1 should be D.
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Re: According to ancient and medieval science, aether is the material that [#permalink]
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Felipe28g wrote:
If this reading was about light waves and the history behind them, then C would be correct. But it is not, it's about the concept of aether. The reading begins talking about aether and from there on it details the evolution of the use of the word aether in a scientific context. Aether is not a scientific phenomenon. For all intents and purposes it's a failed physics concept that according to the reading proved to be purely made up. It's like saying that Zeus was a physics phenomenon about how lightnings worked.

The correct answer for question 1 should be D; I see no reason to the contrary.

in my opinion, when I look at such option like the D, which is intentionally lead readers to a trap

"in physics", I will definitely wonder what if not? what if this theory can not only apply in physics but also elsewhere...

and since C seems like not a straight answer I will hold it since most of the time the GMAT answer land on those of ambiguous words.

after all, that's my 2 cents
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Re: According to ancient and medieval science, aether is the material that [#permalink]
According to ancient and medieval science, aether is the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere. As early as the 1670s, Isaac Newton used the idea of aether to help match observations to strict mechanical rules of his physics. These ideas of aether would later influence Christiaan Huygens’ wave theory of light, in which light traveled in the form of longitudinal waves via an "omnipresent, perfectly elastic medium having zero density, called aether". At the time, it was thought that in order for light to travel through a vacuum, there must have been a medium filling the void through which it could propagate, as sound through air or ripples in a pool. Later, when it was proved that the nature of light wave is transverse instead of longitudinal, Huygens' theory was replaced by subsequent theories proposed by James Clerk Maxwell, Albert Einstein, and Louis-Victor de Broglie, who rejected the existence and necessity of aether to explain the various optical phenomena. These theories were supported by the results of the Michelson-Morley experiment in which evidence for the presence of aether was conclusively absent. The results of the experiment influenced many physicists of the time and contributed to the eventual development of Einstein's theory of special relativity. However, Einstein himself noted that his own model which replaced these theories could itself be thought of as an aether, as it implied that the empty space between objects had its own physical properties. Despite the early modern aether models being superseded by general relativity, occasionally some physicists have attempted to reintroduce the concept of aether in an attempt to address perceived deficiencies in current physical models.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to:

A. Refute the concept of aether as a medium necessary for light waves to travel.
B. Demonstrate that the ancient concept of aether is obsolete.
C. Discuss the history of a scientific phenomenon.
D. Detail the role of aether in the laws of physics.
E. Show that the theory of general relativity has replaced the concept of aether.

2. According to the passage, the wave theory of light was disproved because _____________.

A. Longitudinal waves cannot travel through a medium with zero density.
B. Aether was conclusively absent from the results of the Michelson-Morley experiment.
C. In order for light to travel through a vacuum, it requires some medium through which to propogate.
D. Einstein’s theory of special relativity disproved the presence of aether.
E. Light waves were proven not to be longitudinally oriented.

RC Butler 2021 - Practice 2 RCs Daily.
Passage # 24 Date: 18-Jan-2021
This question is a part of RC Butler 2021. Click here for Details

Hello Everyone! I found this question from Veritas Prep. online question bank, If someone have more question(s) related to this RC please post them in the reply of this question I will add them. Thank you!

For anyone browsing the comment section for question 1:

I chose A, eliminating C. While A was debatable for me, Aether was objectively not a "scientific phenomenon."
Unless, I looked up dictionary meaning of phenomenon: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phenomenon

Turns out "Aether" is one and thusly C fits perfectly.
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Re: According to ancient and medieval science, aether is the material that [#permalink]
akhil3101 wrote:
Option C in Q1 doesn't seem apt to me.
Discuss the history of a scientific phenomenon
In the passage we are discussing about the history of aether. Its true.
But Aether is not a scientific phenomenon. It is just a material that fills the space. The concept of aether is used to explain various scientific phenomenon, aether it self is not a scientific phenomenon.
Any views on this?

­True, although if we see all other options are not correct either, but I first thought answer should be C but then I thought the same that aether is not a phenomenon, so marked B instead. But I think, it is not about our own knowledge about what aether is, rather just a general statement that the paragraph talks about the history of aether, hence should be C.

Re: According to ancient and medieval science, aether is the material that [#permalink]
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