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# Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well

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Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 01 Oct 2019, 21:44
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Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well as the development and refinement of other physical laws, led to the idea of scientific determinism. The first expression of this principle was in the beginning of the nineteenth century by Laplace, a French scientist. Laplace argued that if one knew the position and velocity of all the particles in the universe at a given time, the laws of physics would be able to predict the future state of the universe.

Scientific determinism held sway over a great many scientists until the early twentieth century, when the quantum mechanics revolution occurred. Quantum mechanics introduced the world to the idea of the uncertainty principle, which stated that it was impossible to accurately measure both the position and the velocity of a particle at one time. Because Laplace’s omniscience could never occur, even in theory, the principle of scientific determinism was thrown into doubt. However, quantum mechanics does allow for a reduced form of scientific determinism. Even though physicists are unable to know precisely where a particle is and what its velocity is, they can determine certain probabilities about its position and velocity. These probabilities are called wave functions. By use of a formula known as the Schrodinger equation, a scientist with the wave function of a particle at a given time can calculate the particle’s future wave function. These calculations can give the particle’s position or velocity, but not both. Thus, the physicist is in possession of exactly half of the information needed to satisfy Laplace’s view of determinism. Unfortunately, under modern physics theories, that is far as any researcher can go in predicting the future.

1. The passage suggests that if scientific determinism were true

A. scientists would, in theory, be able to predict the future
B. all the particles in the universe would have a measurable position and velocity
C. the theory of quantum mechanics would be false
D. Schrodinger’s equation could be used to calculate any particle’s position
E. the quantum mechanics revolution would not have occurred

2. According to the passage, wave functions

A. allow scientists to determine the position and velocity of a particle
B. are determined by the Schrodinger equation
C. provide a range of possible locations and velocities for a particle
D. allow a scientist to calculate the future state of the universe
E. threw the proposition of scientific determinism into doubt

3. Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

A. A paradox is introduced, competing explanations are offered, and a final resolution is reached.
B. Two opposing theories are introduced, critiqued, and reconciled.
C. An idea is introduced, its validity is questioned, and its application qualified.
D. A theory is introduced, its mathematical basis is examined, and it is rejected.
E. An argument is made, an objection to it is detailed, and the argument is revised.

4. Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the author’s conclusion in the passage’s final sentence?

A. Some physicists believe quantum mechanics will eventually be discarded in favor of a new theory.
B. Physicists still use Newton’s laws of motion to calculate the velocities and positions of planets and stars.
C. Even if the position and velocity of a particle were known, predicting the future would be impossible because there are too many other variables to calculate.
D. There is little to no chance that the modern theory of quantum mechanics will be overturned by another theory.
E. No scientists are pursuing studies in the field of determinism.

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Originally posted by Asad on 24 Mar 2017, 18:53.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 01 Oct 2019, 21:44, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (761).
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Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2017, 05:36

I think the answer should be D. The idea of determinism has been introduced. Then it has been analysed and has been rejected on the basis of quantum theory.
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Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2017, 04:53
akanksha.setiya wrote:

I think the answer should be D. The idea of determinism has been introduced. Then it has been analysed and has been rejected on the basis of quantum theory.

D states its mathematical basis is questioned. The passage doesn't question how the calculations are done . It merely says we cant measure the properties of all the variables involved. Also Scientific determinism isn't rejected , it is applied in reduced form i.e., probable positions and velocities are determined.

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Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2018, 10:24

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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25 Mar 2018, 12:36
1
Suluzhan wrote:

Posted from my mobile device

Hi Suluzhan, I hope that I can help

4. Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the author’s conclusion in the passage’s final sentence?
A. Some physicists believe quantum mechanics will eventually be discarded in favor of a new theory.
B. Physicists still use Newton’s laws of motion to calculate the velocities and positions of planets and stars.
C. Even if the position and velocity of a particle were known, predicting the future would be impossible because there are too many other variables to calculate.
D. There is little to no chance that the modern theory of quantum mechanics will be overturned by another theory.
E. No scientists are pursuing studies in the field of determinism.

Last sentence:
Quote:
Unfortunately, under modern physics theories, that is far as any researcher can go in predicting the future.

D tells us that the theory of quantum mechanics will be valid for a long time. This matches very well with the last sentence, which states that the quantum mechanics theory is the most advanced theory scientists can ever develop. If you look at the other answer choices you will realize that they aren't strenghteners at all or weaker strenghteners.

Hope that helps

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Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2018, 12:46
Experts

Why isn't the answer to Q1 C??
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Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2018, 13:23
prateek176 wrote:
Experts

Why isn't the answer to Q1 C??

Hi prateek176:

Quote:
1. The passage suggests that if scientific determinism were true
A. scientists would, in theory, be able to predict the future
B. all the particles in the universe would have a measurable position and velocity
C. the theory of quantum mechanics would be false
D. Schrodinger’s equation could be used to calculate any particle’s position
E. the quantum mechanics revolution would not have occurred

We need to connect the pieces of information about scientific determinism and quantum mechanics.

Quote:
Laplace argued that if one knew the position and velocity of all the particles in the universe at a given time, the laws of physics would be able to predict the future state of the universe.

This is the main statement about scientific determinism. It says that we can predict the future state of the universe, if we know both the position and the velocity of all particles.

Quote:
Quantum mechanics introduced the world to the idea of the uncertainty principle, which stated that it was impossible to accurately measure both the position and the velocity of a particle at one time

This is the main statement about quantum mechanis. This states that we can't determine position and velocity of a particle at the same time.

If we combine both statements we can infer that if scientific determinism were true it would disprove quantum mechanics.

Does that make sense to you?
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Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2018, 01:19
1
1. The passage suggests that if scientific determinism were true

A. scientists would, in theory, be able to predict the future - True, that is in fact the ultimate outcome if scientific determinism were true
B. all the particles in the universe would have a measurable position and velocity - Close choice. But, look again, is the passage really suggesting that ? Is not it clearly mentioned in the passage that the scientific determination will actually hold when we are able to measure the position and the velocity of all the particles.
C. the theory of quantum mechanics would be false - Nowhere in the passage the author suggests that the quantum mechanics would be false. Too strong a choice
D. Schrodinger’s equation could be used to calculate any particle’s position - irrelevant
E. the quantum mechanics revolution would not have occurred - Again, too strong a choice.
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Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2018, 01:26
2. According to the passage, wave functions

A. allow scientists to determine the position and velocity of a particle - False. Wave functions only provide the probabilities.
B. are determined by the Schrodinger equation - False, Instead, wave functions serve as pre-requisite to the Schrodinger equation.
C. provide a range of possible locations and velocities for a particle- True
D. allow a scientist to calculate the future state of the universe - False. Wave functions help scientists predict the future state of the waves.
E. threw the proposition of scientific determinism into doubt - False, it is the quantum mechanics theory that casts doubt on the idea of scientific determinism
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Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2018, 01:31
3. Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

A. A paradox is introduced, competing explanations are offered, and a final resolution is reached. - False.No Paradox is introduced.
B. Two opposing theories are introduced, critiqued, and reconciled. - False.Are both the theories critiqued ?
C. An idea is introduced, its validity is questioned, and its application qualified. - True. An idea is introduced in the first para. In the second para, Quantum mechanics is introduced that casts doubt on the idea of scientific determinism.
D. A theory is introduced, its mathematical basis is examined, and it is rejected. Partially true.A theory is introduced, but is it rejected totally ? No, just that quantum mechanics accept that idea but in the reduced form
E. An argument is made, an objection to it is detailed, and the argument is revised. - False. Argument is not revised.
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Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2018, 01:32
4. Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the author’s conclusion in the passage’s final sentence?

A. Some physicists believe quantum mechanics will eventually be discarded in favor of a new theory. - False
B. Physicists still use Newton’s laws of motion to calculate the velocities and positions of planets and stars. - Irrelevant
C. Even if the position and velocity of a particle were known, predicting the future would be impossible because there are too many other variables to calculate. - False
D. There is little to no chance that the modern theory of quantum mechanics will be overturned by another theory. Correct.
E. No scientists are pursuing studies in the field of determinism. Irrelevant
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Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2018, 08:02
generis, can you please take a look at Q3 and share your thoughts. I am picking this up from my bump to your "tone of author" post from a few days ago. This Q3 requires a correct summarization and I was not able to zero in on C there. What does "äpplication qualified" mean in this context? I went ahead with E ( without probable cause and had to pay the price for it )

Thank you.

Have a nice evening!

Regards,

Quote:
3. Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

A. A paradox is introduced, competing explanations are offered, and a final resolution is reached.
B. Two opposing theories are introduced, critiqued, and reconciled.
C. An idea is introduced, its validity is questioned, and its application qualified.
D. A theory is introduced, its mathematical basis is examined, and it is rejected.
E. An argument is made, an objection to it is detailed, and the argument is revised.

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Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well  [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2018, 08:41
Gladiator59, thanks for tagging me. glad to help you can check my explanation below, i wonder mysef if my reasoning is correct ...
have a fantastic evening

Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well as the development and refinement of other physical laws, led to
the idea of scientific determinism. The first expression of this principle was in the beginning of the nineteenth century by Laplace, a French scientist. Laplace argued that if one knew the position and velocity of all the particles in the universe at a given time, the laws of physics would be able to predict the future state of the universe. ( FIRST PARA INTRODUCES IDEA)

Scientific determinism held sway over a great many scientists until the early twentieth century, <------ I UNDERSTAND THIS, THAT AN APPLICATION OF AN IDEA WAS QUALIFIED. BECAUSE THIS IDEA HAD AN INFLUENCE ON SCIENTISTS. AND IF IT HAD INFLUENCE THEN IT MEANS THAT THEY ACCEPTED IT UNTIL SOME TIME.

THE TEXT BELOW PUTS VALIDITY OF SCIENTIFIC DETERMINATION INTO QUESTION BY INTRODUCICG QANTUM MECHANICS.

when the quantum mechanics revolution occurred. Quantum mechanics introduced the world to the idea of the uncertainty principle, which stated that it was impossible to accurately measure both the position and the velocity of a particle at one time. Because Laplace’s omniscience could never occur, even in theory, the principle of scientific determinism was thrown into doubt. However, quantum mechanics does allow for a reduced form of scientific determinism.

3. Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

A. A paradox is introduced, competing explanations are offered, and a final resolution is reached.
B. Two opposing theories are introduced, critiqued, and reconciled.
C. An idea is introduced, its validity is questioned, and its application qualified.
D. A theory is introduced, its mathematical basis is examined, and it is rejected.
E. An argument is made, an objection to it is detailed, and the argument is revised.
Re: Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well   [#permalink] 17 Dec 2018, 08:41
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