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How the pigment known as Han purple was synthesized by the ancient Chi

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How the pigment known as Han purple was synthesized by the ancient Chi  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2017, 10:39
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How the pigment known as Han purple was synthesized by the ancient Chinese of the Qin and Han dynasties has puzzled scientists. The Chinese chemists employed the same chemical ingredients used for Han purple in the production of a common type of white glass during that period. Both were produced in processes that involved subjecting the mixtures to high heat and mixing in lead to decrease the melting temperature. Thus, Han purple was probably discovered by fortuitous accident during glass production.

Which one of the following, if true, would most strengthen the argument?

(A) Chemical analysis shows that most of the known fragments of both Han purple and the white glass were produced within a small geographical radius.
(B) Han purple was used for luxury and ceremonial items, whereas the white glass was used to make certain household items.
(C) The technique used for producing Han purple was known to very few people during the Qin and Han dynasties.
(D) The ingredients used in producing both Han purple and the white glass were easily obtainable during the Qin and Han dynasties.
(E) The white glass is found in more surviving artifacts from the Qin and Han dynasties than Han purple is.

Source: LSAT

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Re: How the pigment known as Han purple was synthesized by the ancient Chi  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2019, 03:29
Akela wrote:
How the pigment known as Han purple was synthesized by the ancient Chinese of the Qin and Han dynasties has puzzled scientists. The Chinese chemists employed the same chemical ingredients used for Han purple in the production of a common type of white glass during that period. Both were produced in processes that involved subjecting the mixtures to high heat and mixing in lead to decrease the melting temperature. Thus, Han purple was probably discovered by fortuitous accident during glass production.

Which one of the following, if true, would most strengthen the argument?

(A) Chemical analysis shows that most of the known fragments of both Han purple and the white glass were produced within a small geographical radius.
(B) Han purple was used for luxury and ceremonial items, whereas the white glass was used to make certain household items.
(C) The technique used for producing Han purple was known to very few people during the Qin and Han dynasties.
(D) The ingredients used in producing both Han purple and the white glass were easily obtainable during the Qin and Han dynasties.
(E) The white glass is found in more surviving artifacts from the Qin and Han dynasties than Han purple is.

Source: LSAT


The argument simply says this:

Han purple and white glass have same ingredients and same process of production.
Thus, Han purple was probably discovered by fortuitous accident during glass production.

This is a conjecture. It is possible that both were developed independently. Or it is possible that white glass was discovered by fortuitous accident during Han purple production.
What would strengthen the given conclusion? If we can show more connect between the two, that might strengthen our conclusion. Or that glass precedes the discovery of Han purple etc.

(A) Chemical analysis shows that most of the known fragments of both Han purple and the white glass were produced within a small geographical radius.
This links the two better. It shows that there was some connection between them since both were found within a small radius. It does make it more probable that one of them was discovered by accident during production of another. So it does strengthen our conclusion.

(B) Han purple was used for luxury and ceremonial items, whereas the white glass was used to make certain household items.
This brings forth the difference between the two. It does not strengthen our conclusion.

(C) The technique used for producing Han purple was known to very few people during the Qin and Han dynasties.
This doesn't help in establishing anything. Irrelevant.

(D) The ingredients used in producing both Han purple and the white glass were easily obtainable during the Qin and Han dynasties.
This doesn't help in establishing anything. Irrelevant.

(E) The white glass is found in more surviving artifacts from the Qin and Han dynasties than Han purple is.
The number of objects made out of either has no impact. Either could be discovered later but used extensively.

Answer (A)
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Re: How the pigment known as Han purple was synthesized by the ancient Chi  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2017, 21:29
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Masshole wrote:
How the pigment known as Han purple was synthesized by the ancient Chinese of the Qin and Han dynasties has puzzled scientists. The Chinese chemists employed the same chemical ingredients used for Han purple in the production of a common type of white glass during that period. Both were produced in processes that involved subjecting the mixtures to high heat and mixing in lead to decrease the melting temperature. Thus, Han purple was probably discovered by fortuitous accident during glass production.

Which one of the following, if true, would most strengthen the argument?


A tough question. I spent ~5 mins to try to understand what the question wants to say.

There are 2 things: (A) Han purple (a pigment, really no need to care what it is) and (B) chemical ingredients used in production of white glass.

Those two things have the same chemical ingredients.

The former was synthesized by the ancient Chinese of the Qin and Han dynasties.
The latter was used by the Chinese chemists during the same period.

Both of those two things were produced in processes that involved subjecting the mixtures to high heat and mixing in lead to decrease the melting temperature.

Conclusion: Han purple was probably discovered by fortuitous accident during glass production.

How we could conclude that those two things have common connection as the argument said?

(A) Chemical analysis shows that most of the known fragments of both Han purple and the white glass were produced within a small geographical radius.
Correct. If A was produced in the north and B was produced in the south, we can't conclude that A was discovered by accident from B.

As this choice indicates that both A and B were produced within a small geographical radius, this choice does support that those two things have some common connections so it supports the argument.


(B) Han purple was used for luxury and ceremonial items, whereas the white glass was used to make certain household items.
This choice doesn't explain that A and B have common connection so this choice doesn't support the argument.

(C) The technique used for producing Han purple was known to very few people during the Qin and Han dynasties.
This choice doesn't explain that A and B have common connection.

(D) The ingredients used in producing both Han purple and the white glass were easily obtainable during the Qin and Han dynasties.
We knew that those two things are used during that period. However, how we could conclude that A was discovered by accident?

(E) The white glass is found in more surviving artifacts from the Qin and Han dynasties than Han purple is.
This choice doesn't explain that A and B have common connection.
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Re: How the pigment known as Han purple was synthesized by the ancient Chi   [#permalink] 27 Sep 2017, 21:29
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