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Nuclear fusion is a process whereby the nuclei of atoms are joined, or

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Nuclear fusion is a process whereby the nuclei of atoms are joined, or  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2020, 04:39
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Nuclear fusion is a process whereby the nuclei of atoms are joined, or “fused,” and in which energy is released. One of the by-products of fusion is helium-4 gas. A recent fusion experiment was conducted using “heavy” water contained in a sealed flask. The flask was, in turn, contained in an air-filled chamber designed to eliminate extraneous vibration. After the experiment, a measurable amount of helium-4 gas was found in the air of the chamber. The experimenters cited this evidence in support of their conclusion that fusion had been achieved.

Which one of the following, if true, would cast doubt on the experimenters’ conclusion?


(A) Helium-4 was not the only gas found in the experiment chamber.

(B) When fusion is achieved, it normally produces several by-products, including tritium and gamma rays.

(C) The amount of helium-4 found in the chamber’s air did not exceed the amount of helium-4 that is found in ordinary air.

(D) Helium-4 gas rapidly breaks down, forming ordinary helium gas after a few hours.

(E) Nuclear fusion reactions are characterized by the release of large amounts of heat.

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Re: Nuclear fusion is a process whereby the nuclei of atoms are joined, or  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2020, 06:06
Bunuel wrote:
Nuclear fusion is a process whereby the nuclei of atoms are joined, or “fused,” and in which energy is released. One of the by-products of fusion is helium-4 gas. A recent fusion experiment was conducted using “heavy” water contained in a sealed flask. The flask was, in turn, contained in an air-filled chamber designed to eliminate extraneous vibration. After the experiment, a measurable amount of helium-4 gas was found in the air of the chamber. The experimenters cited this evidence in support of their conclusion that fusion had been achieved.

Which one of the following, if true, would cast doubt on the experimenters’ conclusion?


(A) Helium-4 was not the only gas found in the experiment chamber.

(B) When fusion is achieved, it normally produces several by-products, including tritium and gamma rays.

(C) The amount of helium-4 found in the chamber’s air did not exceed the amount of helium-4 that is found in ordinary air.

(D) Helium-4 gas rapidly breaks down, forming ordinary helium gas after a few hours.

(E) Nuclear fusion reactions are characterized by the release of large amounts of heat.


One line summary of the Argument:
Presence of measurable amount of He4 gas -----> Successful fusion
The obvious flaw here is that, it doesn't talk about the amount of the gas released.

A. This is irrelevant to the argument. Even if other gases were found in the chamber, it cannot give an indication whether fusion was attained. (Unless more details were provided)
B. Whether tritium and gamma rays were produced as byproducts or not, does not affect the argument.
C. If the amount of He4 gas did not exceed the amount of He4 gas found in ordinary air, it means that no new He4 gas was produced ie.. fusion did not occur. So C is the answer.
D. This could have been a potential answer if time was a factor under consideration, but since this is not a part of the argument, this answer can be eliminated.
E. This is also irrelevant to the conclusion.
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Re: Nuclear fusion is a process whereby the nuclei of atoms are joined, or   [#permalink] 24 Jan 2020, 06:06
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Nuclear fusion is a process whereby the nuclei of atoms are joined, or

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