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# Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl

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Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2015, 05:20
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Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightless, and wanted to know a small solid object’s mass. We could not simply balance that object against another of known weight, as we would on Earth. The unknown mass could be determined, however, by placing the object on a spring scale and swinging the scale in a circle at the end of a string. The scale would measure the tension in the string, which would depend on both the speed of revolution and the mass of the object. The tension would be greater, the greater the mass or the greater the speed of revolution. From the measured tension and speed of whirling, we could determine the object’s mass.

Astronomers use an analogous procedure to “weigh” double-star systems. The speed with which the two stars in a double-star system circle one another depends on the gravitational force between them, which holds the system together. This attractive force, analogous to the tension in the string, is proportional to the stars’ combined mass, according to Newton’s law of gravitation. By observing the time required for the stars to circle each other (the period) and measuring the distance between them, we can deduce the restraining force, and hence the masses.

Q1 :- It can be inferred from the passage that the two procedures described in the passage have which of the following in common?
A They have been applied in practice.
B They rely on the use of a device that measures tension.
C Their purpose is to determine an unknown mass.
D They can only be applied to small solid objects.
E They involve attraction between objects of similar mass.

Q2 :- According to the passage, the tension in the string mentioned in highlight text is analogous to which of the following aspects of a double-star system?
A The speed with which one star orbits the other
B The gravitational attraction between the stars
C The amount of time it takes for the stars to circle one another
D The distance between the two stars
E The combined mass of the two stars

Q3 :- Which of the following best describes the relationship between the first and the second paragraph of the passage?
A The first paragraph provides an illustration useful for understanding a procedure described in the second paragraph.
B The first paragraph describes a hypothetical situation whose plausibility is tested in the second paragraph.
C The first paragraph evaluates the usefulness of a procedure whose application is described further in the second paragraph.
D The second paragraph provides evidence to support a claim made in the first paragraph.
E The second paragraph analyzes the practical implications of a methodology proposed in the first paragraph.

Q4 :- The author of the passage mentions observations regarding the period of a double-star system as being useful for determining
A the distance between the two stars in the system
B the time it takes for each star to rotate on its axis
C the size of the orbit the system’s two stars occupy
D the degree of gravitational attraction between the system’s stars
E the speed at which the star system moves through space

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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2015, 00:57
This was a easy passage. I guess it aint that easy on the gmat.. 1 week more.. RC giving issues.. any pointer. Jarvis
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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29 May 2016, 04:35
C B A D Fairly easy passage , all correct in 5 mins 15 seconds
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2016, 23:26
Top Contributor
Easy passage: 5 mins all correct. Took 2 mins for para and ~1.5 mins for last 2 questions.
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2017, 10:47
1
Fairly easy passage.
I was expecting it to be <600 (sub 600) level.
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2017, 00:18
Hello Experts,

Q3 :- Which of the following best describes the relationship between the first and the second paragraph of the passage?
A The first paragraph provides an illustration useful for understanding a procedure described in the second paragraph.
B The first paragraph describes a hypothetical situation whose plausibility is tested in the second paragraph.
C The first paragraph evaluates the usefulness of a procedure whose application is described further in the second paragraph.
D The second paragraph provides evidence to support a claim made in the first paragraph.
E The second paragraph analyzes the practical implications of a methodology proposed in the first paragraph.

I was torn between A and C. I eventually selected A because C says the the first para evaluates the usefulness of a procedure. The author doesn't do that Eg: - The author doesn't say the procedure is useful here but can't be used there. He/she just describes a procedure

Hence I eliminated C

I would like to hear your thoughts as to how you eliminated option C in this question. Thanks
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2017, 08:01
1
pikolo2510 wrote:
Hello Experts,

Q3 :- Which of the following best describes the relationship between the first and the second paragraph of the passage?
A The first paragraph provides an illustration useful for understanding a procedure described in the second paragraph.
B The first paragraph describes a hypothetical situation whose plausibility is tested in the second paragraph.
C The first paragraph evaluates the usefulness of a procedure whose application is described further in the second paragraph.
D The second paragraph provides evidence to support a claim made in the first paragraph.
E The second paragraph analyzes the practical implications of a methodology proposed in the first paragraph.

I was torn between A and C. I eventually selected A because C says the the first para evaluates the usefulness of a procedure. The author doesn't do that Eg: - The author doesn't say the procedure is useful here but can't be used there. He/she just describes a procedure

Hence I eliminated C

I would like to hear your thoughts as to how you eliminated option C in this question. Thanks

Not an expert but would still like to share my thought process :

This is what option 'C' says:

The first paragraph evaluates the usefulness of a procedure
whose application is described further in the second paragraph.

The first paragraph does actually evaluate the usefulness of a procedure, and that usefulness is measuring the mass of an object using the process described.
The first paragraph does not explicitly state that usefulness, but I guess that's implied.

What's incorrect in this option is this part 'whose application is described further in the second paragraph'
What is mentioned in the second paragraph is not an application of the procedure mentioned in the first paragraph (to measure the mass of unknown object).
Second paragraph just uses an analogy to measure the weight of the stars, but it is not an extension of what is stated in the 1st paragraph but rather an extension of the analogy that is stated in the 2nd paragraph.
Remember, the process stated in the 1st paragraph can not be used to measure the weight of stars. Hence, the application of what is stated in the 1st paragraph can not be used to measure the weight of the stars.
Weight of the stars can in fact be measured by an analogous procedure.
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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05 Nov 2017, 11:44
Pretty easy passage .... got it all correct in < 5 mins 20 sec
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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17 Nov 2017, 17:38
1
1
Instead of saying everyone saying how easy this passage was, why don't you post how you solved? Based on the stats of people who answered, clearly not everyone found this easy.

I personally got the last question incorrect.
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2017, 18:27
Took 6 mins.Got No.3 ques. incorrect. Dear GMATNinja GMATNinja2, Can you help here?
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2017, 08:46
Took 6 mins.Got No.3 ques. incorrect. Dear GMATNinja GMATNinja2, Can you help here?

sadikabid27, can you let us know what you were thinking on #3? That will help us understand where you went wrong and put us in a better position to help.

Also, please use the request verbal experts' reply button to help ensure that your questions get noticed.

Thanks!
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2018, 02:22
GMATNinjaTwo wrote:
Took 6 mins.Got No.3 ques. incorrect. Dear GMATNinja GMATNinja2, Can you help here?

sadikabid27, can you let us know what you were thinking on #3? That will help us understand where you went wrong and put us in a better position to help.

Also, please use the request verbal experts' reply button to help ensure that your questions get noticed.

Thanks!

I have selected E . Please let me know why E is wrong here @GMATNinjaTwo
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2018, 22:07
2
ashisplb wrote:
GMATNinjaTwo wrote:
Took 6 mins.Got No.3 ques. incorrect. Dear GMATNinja GMATNinja2, Can you help here?

sadikabid27, can you let us know what you were thinking on #3? That will help us understand where you went wrong and put us in a better position to help.

Also, please use the request verbal experts' reply button to help ensure that your questions get noticed.

Thanks!

I have selected E . Please let me know why E is wrong here @GMATNinjaTwo

Quote:
Q3 :- Which of the following best describes the relationship between the first and the second paragraph of the passage?
A The first paragraph provides an illustration useful for understanding a procedure described in the second paragraph.
B The first paragraph describes a hypothetical situation whose plausibility is tested in the second paragraph.
C The first paragraph evaluates the usefulness of a procedure whose application is described further in the second paragraph.
D The second paragraph provides evidence to support a claim made in the first paragraph.
E The second paragraph analyzes the practical implications of a methodology proposed in the first paragraph.

The methodology proposed in the first paragraph involves a hypothetical technique for measuring a small solid object’s mass in space (by placing the object on a spring scale and swinging the scale in a circle at the end of a string).

The second paragraph does not discuss practical ways for using THAT hypothetical technique. In other words, the second paragraph does not analyze practical applications of the spring scale/small-solid-object method. Instead, the second paragraph describes a different technique that is analogous to the spring scale/small-solid-object method.

In other words, the second paragraph does not discuss (or analyze) the practical applications of the spring scale/small solid method. Instead, the second paragraph describes an analogous procedure. Furthermore, this analogous procedure is described but is not really analyzed.

Choice (A) is more accurate.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2018, 14:15
4
dcummins wrote:
Instead of saying everyone saying how easy this passage was, why don't you post how you solved? Based on the stats of people who answered, clearly not everyone found this easy.

I personally got the last question incorrect.

The author of the passage mentions observations regarding the period of a double-star system as being useful for determining

A the distance between the two stars in the system
Incorrect. Tricky b/c "distance" is mentioned right after the "period", so if you were rushing/not reading carefully, it might look appealing. But the issue here is that "distance" is lumped in with the "period" to deduce the masses.

B the time it takes for each star to rotate on its axis
Incorrect. Where is the term "axis" mentioned in this paragraph? Why would it even be relevant?

C the size of the orbit the system’s two stars occupy
Incorrect. Nothing is mentioned here that describes the size of the orbit or how that size affects the stars.

D the degree of gravitational attraction between the system’s stars
Correct. I got this by POE. However, even if we read the 2nd paragraph, we know that 2 things are used to help us determine 2 things: 1) the "restraining force"; and 2) the masses. "degree of gravitational attraction" I think, is a fancy way of saying "the restraining force"

E the speed at which the star system moves through space
Incorrect. Nothing is mentioned here that describes the speed at which the star systems move or how this info is used to determine anything meaningful.

I'll be honest, when I first read the question, I was a bit nervous. The big clue I was given was to look at the 2nd paragraph, but after pinpointing the exact place where these things are mentioned, I couldn't find an A/C that fit what I was looking for.
- POE was really helpful for me. So many A/C were so clearly out of scope (A, B, C & E)
- After recognizing this, going back to "D", I can see how "degree of ..." = "restraining force"

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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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05 Jul 2018, 17:19
Why not B ? The paragraph talks about the hypothetical situation in the first paragraph. Could you explain where am I going wrong ?
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2018, 18:15
1
Shivikaa wrote:
Why not B ? The paragraph talks about the hypothetical situation in the first paragraph. Could you explain where am I going wrong ?

Quote:
3. Which of the following best describes the relationship between the first and the second paragraph of the passage?
A The first paragraph provides an illustration useful for understanding a procedure described in the second paragraph.
B The first paragraph describes a hypothetical situation whose plausibility is tested in the second paragraph.
C The first paragraph evaluates the usefulness of a procedure whose application is described further in the second paragraph.
D The second paragraph provides evidence to support a claim made in the first paragraph.
E The second paragraph analyzes the practical implications of a methodology proposed in the first paragraph.

We need to consider the entire statement being made in choice (B). You're right to point out that the first paragraph describes a hypothetical technique. That technique is the spring scale/small-solid-object method of measuring mass. However, does the second paragraph test the plausibility of this technique? Is that why the author is bringing up the measurement of attractive force between stars?

The answer is no. The author uses the second paragraph to present an analogous procedure. The point of the second paragraph is not to test whether we can measure mass by measuring the tension of a string between two objects. The point is to describe a different procedure for measuring the mass of stars, referencing the first paragraph as a comparable scenario.

I hope this clarifies why (A) remains the best choice!
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2018, 13:02
GMATNinja wrote:
Shivikaa wrote:
Why not B ? The paragraph talks about the hypothetical situation in the first paragraph. Could you explain where am I going wrong ?

Quote:
3. Which of the following best describes the relationship between the first and the second paragraph of the passage?
A The first paragraph provides an illustration useful for understanding a procedure described in the second paragraph.
B The first paragraph describes a hypothetical situation whose plausibility is tested in the second paragraph.
C The first paragraph evaluates the usefulness of a procedure whose application is described further in the second paragraph.
D The second paragraph provides evidence to support a claim made in the first paragraph.
E The second paragraph analyzes the practical implications of a methodology proposed in the first paragraph.

We need to consider the entire statement being made in choice (B). You're right to point out that the first paragraph describes a hypothetical technique. That technique is the spring scale/small-solid-object method of measuring mass. However, does the second paragraph test the plausibility of this technique? Is that why the author is bringing up the measurement of attractive force between stars?

The answer is no. The author uses the second paragraph to present an analogous procedure. The point of the second paragraph is not to test whether we can measure mass by measuring the tension of a string between two objects. The point is to describe a different procedure for measuring the mass of stars, referencing the first paragraph as a comparable scenario.

I hope this clarifies why (A) remains the best choice!

Hello GMATNinja , I agree with your reasoning. However, I originally chose option D. It seemed to me more like an evidence proving what the author said is not baseless but have some grounds even though 2nd para doesn't 100% follow the same hypothesis.
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2018, 06:44
1
I got #1 wrong. I choose A because if there procedures do appear in real life - on Earth and obvs on the non gravity environment. Can anyone explain?
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2018, 07:09
2
visheshsahni wrote:
HelloGMATNinja, I agree with your reasoning. However, I originally chose option D. It seemed to me more like an evidence proving what the author said is not baseless but have some grounds even though 2nd para doesn't 100% follow the same hypothesis.

Quote:
Q3 :- Which of the following best describes the relationship between the first and the second paragraph of the passage?
D The second paragraph provides evidence to support a claim made in the first paragraph.

For us to accept (D) as the best possible choice, we need to identify the claim made in P1. Then we need to identify how P2 provides evidence to support that claim.

Quote:
Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightless, and wanted to know a small solid object’s mass. We could not simply balance that object against another of known weight, as we would on Earth. The unknown mass could be determined, however, by placing the object on a spring scale and swinging the scale in a circle at the end of a string. The scale would measure the tension in the [gl]string[/gl], which would depend on both the speed of revolution and the mass of the object. The tension would be greater, the greater the mass or the greater the speed of revolution. From the measured tension and speed of whirling, we could determine the object’s mass.

P1 presents a hypothetical scenario, where we determine the mass of an object inside a spaceship that's in free fall. P1 makes the claim that in this scenario, we could attach a spring scale to the object using a string, then determine the weight of the mass of the object by measuring the tension in the string. But why is the author bringing this up? So far, it seems like the only purpose of this paragraph is to tell us about this specific method, and how it works in this specific scenario.

Quote:
Astronomers use an analogous procedure to “weigh” double-star systems. The speed with which the two stars in a double-star system circle one another depends on the gravitational force between them, which holds the system together. This attractive force, analogous to the tension in the string, is proportional to the stars’ combined mass, according to Newton’s law of gravitation. By observing the time required for the stars to circle each other (the period) and measuring the distance between them, we can deduce the restraining force, and hence the masses.

Can we say that P2 presents evidence to support the claim made in P1? Nope. Here's why:

• P2 doesn't give us any more information about the scale, the string, the physics of free fall, or the math that's being done to measure the mass of the object that is discussed in P1. If (D) were correct, we'd expect to see P2 show concrete proof, in order to further convince us that the procedure described in P1 works.
• Instead, P2 describes a completely different case, where we determine the masses of stars by measuring the time required for the stars to circle each other as well as the distance between them. Throughout P2, the author brings up analogous details in P1 in order to helps us understand this more cosmic, less tangible procedure.

Once we read the whole passage, we see that the purpose of P1 was to make it easier for us to understand P2. This is not the same as using P2 to strengthen a claim made in P1, so we eliminate (D).

I hope this helps!
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Re: Suppose we were in a spaceship in free fall, where objects are weightl  [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2018, 09:46
1
anguyengt wrote:
I got #1 wrong. I choose A because if there procedures do appear in real life - on Earth and obvs on the non gravity environment. Can anyone explain?

Q1 :- It can be inferred from the passage that the two procedures described in the passage have which of the following in common?
Quote:
A They have been applied in practice.
The first paragraph certainly defines a hypothetical methodology of measuring mass of unknown, and no where in the paragraph it says that the methodology has been brought in practice. The paragraph starts with "Suppose we..." and ends with "...From the measured tension and speed of whirling, we could determine the object’s mass". It definitely describes a method of measuring weight, but the language in itself lacks certainty. Hence we can't say whether they have been applied in practice.
Quote:
B They rely on the use of a device that measures tension.
The methodology in the first paragraph does, but the methodology in the second paragraph uses something analogue to tension, but not tension.
Quote:
C Their purpose is to determine an unknown mass.
100% Sure, that this is common. First paragraph measure the mass of small solid object and second paragraph weigh double star system. Let's keep C
Quote:
D They can only be applied to small solid objects.
I hope only jumps at you off the screen. This in itself red flags the answer option. Let's see what does the passage say. First paragraph measures the mass of small solid object, second weighs double star system. Firstly, double star system can't be small.Secondly, no where in the passage it says that the methodologies discussed may be used for small solid objects.
Quote:
E They involve attraction between objects of similar mass.
May be true for the methodology discussed in second paragraph, if you infer could infer this, but not for the one discussed in the first paragraph.
Dear anguyengt,
I hope the helps.
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