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The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black

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The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 25 Nov 2018, 20:55
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The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black hole, coming well after the discovery of the red giant are among the most exciting developments in decades because they may be well present physicists with their greatest challenge since the failure of classical mechanics. In the life cycle of the star, after all of the hydrogen and helium fuel has been burned, the delicate balance between the outer nuclear radiation pressure and the stable gravitational force becomes disturbed and slow contraction begins. As compression increases, a very dense plasma forms. If the initial star had mass of less than 1.4 solar masses (1.4 times the mass of our sun), the process ceases at the density of 1,000 tons per cubic inch, and the star becomes the white dwarf. However, if the star was originally more massive, the white dwarf plasma can’t resist the gravitational pressures, and in rapid collapse, all nuclei of the star are converted to a gas of free neutrons. Gravitational attraction compresses this neutron gas rapidly until a density of 10 tons per cubic inch is reached; at this point the strong nuclear force resists further contraction. If the mass of the star was between 1.4 and a few solar masses, the process stops here, and we have a neutron star.

But if the original star was more massive than a few solar masses, even the strong nuclear forces cannot resist the gravitational crunch. The neutrons are forced into one another to form heavier hadrons and these in turn coalesce to form heavier entities, of which we as yet know nothing. At this point, a complete collapse of the stellar mass occurs; existing theories predict a collapse to infinite density and infinitely small dimensions Well before this, however, the surface gravitational force would become so strong that no signal could ever leave the star - any photon emitted would fall back under gravitational attraction – and the star would become black hole in space.

This gravitational collapse poses a fundamental challenge to physics. When the most widely accepted theories predict such improbable things as infinite density and infinitely small dimensions, it simply means that we are missing some vital insight. This last happened in physics in the 1930’s, when we faced the fundamental paradox concerning atomic structure. At that time, it was recognized that electrons moved in table orbits about nuclei in atoms. However, it was also recognized that if charge is accelerated, as it must be to remain in orbit, it radiates energy; so, theoretically, the electron would be expected eventually to spiral into the nucleus and destroy the atom. Studies centered around this paradox led to the development of quantum mechanics. It may well be that an equivalent t advance awaits us in investigating the theoretical problems presented by the phenomenon of gravitational collapse.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. offer new explanations for the collapse of stars.
B. explain the origins of black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs.
C. compare the structure of atoms with the structure of the solar system.
D. explain how the collapse of stars challenges accepted theories of physics.
E. describe the imbalance between radiation pressure and gravitational force.


2. According to the passage, in the final stages of its development our own sun is likely to take the form of a

A. white dwarf
B. neutron star
C. red giant
D. gas of free neutrons
E. black hole


3. According to the passage, an imbalance arises between nuclear radiation pressure and gravitational force in stars because

A. the density of a star increases as it ages
B. radiation pressure increases as a star increases in mass
C. radiation pressure decreases when a star’s fuel has been consumed
D. the collapse of a star increases its gravitational force.
E. a dense plasma decreases the star’s gravitational force.


4. The author asserts that the discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black hole are significant because these discoveries.

A. demonstrate the probability of infinite density and infinitely small dimensions
B. pose the most comprehensive and fundamental problem faced by physicists in decades
C. clarify the paradox suggested by the collapse of electrons into atomic nuclei.
D. establish the relationship between the mass and gravitational pressure.
E. assist in establishing the age of the universe by tracing the life histories of stars.


5. The passage contains information that answers which of the following questions?
I. What is the density limit of the gravitational collapse of neutron stars?
II. At what point in its life cycle does a star begin to contract?
III . What resists the gravitational collapse of a star?

A. I only
B. III only
C. I and II only
D. II and III only
E. I, II, and III


6. The author introduces the discussion of the paradox concerning atomic structures(in highlighted text) in order to

A. Show why it was necessary to develop quantum mechanics
B. Compare the structure of an atom with the structure of star
C. Demonstrate by analogy that a vital insight in astrophysics is missing
D. Illustrate the contention that improbable things do happen in astrophysics
E. Argue that atoms can collapse if their electrons do not remain in orbit.


7. According to the passage, paradoxes are useful in a scientific investigation because they

(A) point to the likelihood of impending discoveries
(B) assist scientists in making comparisons with other branches of knowledge
(C) disprove theories that have been called into question
(D) call attention to inadequacies of existing theory
(E) suggest new hypotheses that can be tested by observation



Source: Www.TestPrepPractice.Net
Difficulty Level: 650

Source
JOURNAL ARTICLE
New Directions in Physics: Man's understanding of his universe and his technological abilities to satisfy his needs are undergoing major change because of new discoveries in all branches of physics
D. Allan Bromley
American Scientist
Vol. 62, No. 3 (May-June 1974), pp. 293-303
Published by: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society
https://www.jstor.org/stable/27844883
Page Count: 11

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File comment: New Directions in Physics: Man's understanding of his universe and his technological abilities to satisfy his needs are undergoing major change because of new discoveries in all branches of physics
10.2307@27844883.pdf [2.43 MiB]
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Originally posted by SajjadAhmad on 10 Feb 2017, 06:20.
Last edited by workout on 25 Nov 2018, 20:55, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2018, 20:47
1
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. offer new explanations for the collapse of stars.
B. explain the origins of black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs.
C. compare the structure of atoms with the structure of the solar system.
D. explain how the collapse of stars challenges accepted theories of physics.
E. describe the imbalance between radiation pressure and gravitational force.


The best answer is D. The central idea of the passage is that the final possible stage in the gravitational collapse of a star, a black hole, produces a state of affairs in which' 'widely accepted theories predict. . . improbable things" (lines 44-45). This situation, the author points out, "may well present physicists with their greatest challenge" since the failure of classical physics (lines 5-6) and' 'poses a fundamental challenge to physics" (lines 43-44). The idea of the challenge is reinforced by the analogy drawn between this situation in physics and the atomic structure paradox of the 1930s. Thus the whole purpose of the passage is to explain the process of gravitational collapse and to suggest how this challenges accepted theories in physics.

2. According to the passage, in the final stages of its development our own sun is likely to take the form of a

A. white dwarf
B. neutron star
C. red giant
D. gas of free neutrons
E. black hole


The best answer is A because lines 12-16 indicate that all stars with a mass less than 1.4 times the mass of our sun will collapse into white dwarfs. As our sun fits this condition, it must eventually collapse into a white dwarf.

3. According to the passage, an imbalance arises between nuclear radiation pressure and gravitational force in stars because

A. the density of a star increases as it ages
B. radiation pressure increases as a star increases in mass
C. radiation pressure decreases when a star’s fuel has been consumed
D. the collapse of a star increases its gravitational force.
E. a dense plasma decreases the star’s gravitational force.


The best answer is C because lines 7-11 indicate that a disturbance in the balance between outward nuclear radiation and stable inward gravitational force occurs "after all of the hydrogen and helium fuel has been burned." Since "slow contraction begins" after the fuel is consumed, and since the gravitational force is stable, the imbalance must be caused by a lessening in the outward radiation pressure.

4. The author asserts that the discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black hole are significant because these discoveries.

A. demonstrate the probability of infinite density and infinitely small dimensions
B. pose the most comprehensive and fundamental problem faced by physicists in decades
C. clarify the paradox suggested by the collapse of electrons into atomic nuclei.
D. establish the relationship between the mass and gravitational pressure.
E. assist in establishing the age of the universe by tracing the life histories of stars.


The best answer is B. Lines 1-6 state that the discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black hole are among the most exciting developments in recent physics and " may well present physicists with their greatest challenge since the failure of classical mechanics." This "challenge" is explained in the rest of the passage, where it is described as "fundamental" (line 43), as being of a magnitude that was last seen in physics "in the 1930's" (lines 48-49), and as conceivably leading to an advance the equivalent of the development of quantum mechanics (lines 57-61). Thus the author considers the discoveries significant because they pose problems of a magnitude that physics has not seen since the 1930s.

5. The passage contains information that answers which of the following questions?
I. What is the density limit of the gravitational collapse of neutron stars?
II. At what point in its life cycle does a star begin to contract?
III . What resists the gravitational collapse of a star?


A. I only
B. III only
C. I and II only
D. II and III only
E. I, II, and III


The best answer is E. Question I is answered in lines 21-23, where it is stated that in the case of neutron stars, gravitational compression continues until a density of 10 tons per cubic inch is reached. Question II is answered in lines 7-11, where it is stated that stars begin to contract after all hydrogen and helium fuel has been burned. Question III has three answers, depending on what stage a star is in. First, outward nuclear radiation resists gravitational collapse (lines 8-10); next the white dwarf plasma resists gravitational collapse (lines 18-19), and finally, the strong nuclear force resists gravitational collapse (lines 21-24). Thus all three questions are answered in the passage and E is the correct choice.

6. The author introduces the discussion of the paradox concerning atomic structures(in highlighted text) in order to

A. Show why it was necessary to develop quantum mechanics
B. Compare the structure of an atom with the structure of a star
C. Demonstrate by analogy that a vital insight in astrophysics is missing
D. Illustrate the contention that improbable things do happen in astrophysics
E. Argue that atoms can collapse if their electrons do not remain in orbit.


The best answer is C. In lines 44-48 the author introduces the discussion of the atomic structure paradox by noting that when improbable things happen it means that physicists "are missing some vital insight." The author then states that' 'This last happened in physics in the 1930s, when we faced a fundamental paradox concerning atomic structure" (lines 48- 50). The author closes the discussion by suggesting "that an equivalent advance awaits us" (line 59) in astrophysics. Together these imply that the author sees an analogy between the atomic structure paradox and the gravitational collapse problem in astrophysics, and anticipates that the second will be solved in the same way as the first, by a new vital insight.

7. According to the passage, paradoxes are useful in scientific investigation because they
(A) point to the likelihood of impending discoveries
(B) assist scientists in making comparisons with other branches of knowledge
(C) disprove theories that have been called into question
(D) call attention to inadequacies of existing theory
(E) suggest new hypotheses that can be tested by observation


The best answer is D. Two paradoxes are described in the passage, the atomic structure problem of the 1930s and the gravitational collapse problem, and both are depicted as calling attention to problems in existing scientific theories. In lines 57-58 the author notes that work in atomic structure physics focused on the inconsistencies of the existing theories, and in lines 44-48 that the discoveries of such paradoxical phenomena as infinite density and infinitely small dimensions tell physicists that "some vital insight" is missing within the existing theory. Thus in both cases, the paradoxes serve to point out problems with existing theories and to draw the attention of physicists toward solving them.
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Re: The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2018, 11:39
1
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

D. explain how the collapse of stars challenges accepted theories of physics.
It may well be that an equivalent t advance awaits us in investigating the theoretical problems presented by the phenomenon of gravitational collapse.

2. According to the passage, in the final stages of its development our own sun is likely to take the form of a
A. white dwarf

In the life cycle of the star, after all of the hydrogen and helium fuel has been burned, the delicate balance between the outer nuclear radiation.pressure and the stable gravitational force becomes disturbed and slow contraction begins. As compression increases, a very dense plasma forms. If the initial star had mass of less than 1.4 solar masses (1.4 times the mass of our sun), the process ceases at the density of 1,000 tons per cubic inch, and the star becomes the white dwarf.


The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black hole, coming well after the discovery of the red giant are among eh most exciting developments in decades because they may be well present physicists with their greatest challenge since thefailure of classical mechanics

In the life cycle of the star, after all of the hydrogen and helium fuel has been burned, the delicate balance between the outer nuclear radiation.pressure and the stable gravitational force becomes disturbed and slow contraction begins. As compression increases, a very dense plasma forms...., and the star becomes the white dwarf.

3. According to the passage, an imbalance arises between nuclear radiation pressure and gravitational force in stars because
C. radiation pressure decreases when a star’s fuel has been consumed

In the life cycle of the star, after all of the hydrogen and helium fuel has been burned, the delicate balance between the outer nuclear radiation.pressure and the stable gravitational force becomes disturbed

4. The author asserts that the discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black hole are significant because these discoveries.

B
The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black hole, coming well after the discovery of the red giant are among eh most exciting developments in decades because they may be well present physicists with their greatest challenge since thefailure of classical mechanics.

5. The passage contains information that answers which of the following questions?
E

6. The author introduces the discussion of the paradox concerning atomic structures(in highlighted text) in order to

C. Demonstrate by analogy that a vital insight in astrophysics is missing

7. According to the passage, an imbalance arises between nuclear radiation pressure and gravitational force in stars because

the surface gravitational force would become so strong that no signal could ever leave the star - any photon emitted would fall back under gravitational attraction – and the star would become black hole in space.











At this point, a complete collapse of the stellar mass occurs; existing theories predict a collapse to infinite density and infinitely small dimensions Well before this, however, the surface gravitational force would become so strong that no signal could ever leave the star - any photon emitted would fall back under gravitational attraction – and the star would become black hole in space.
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Re: The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2018, 19:33
1
Quote:
3. According to the passage, an imbalance arises between nuclear radiation pressure and gravitational force in stars because

A. the density of a star increases as it ages
B. radiation pressure increases as a star increases in mass
C. radiation pressure decreases when a star’s fuel has been consumed
D. the collapse of a star increases its gravitational force.
E. a dense plasma decreases the star’s gravitational force.

7. According to the passage, an imbalance arises between nuclear radiation pressure and gravitational force in stars because

A. the density of a star increases as it ages
B. radiation pressure increases as a star increases in mass
C. radiation pressure decreases when a star's fuel has been consumed
D. the collapse of a star increases its gravitational force
E. a dense plasma decreases the star's gravitational force


Hi workout u1983

Looks like questions 3 and 7 are same.
Please check and remove or add the new question, if this was bymistake.

Thanks!
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Re: The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2018, 22:20
gmat1393 wrote:
Quote:
3. According to the passage, an imbalance arises between nuclear radiation pressure and gravitational force in stars because

A. the density of a star increases as it ages
B. radiation pressure increases as a star increases in mass
C. radiation pressure decreases when a star’s fuel has been consumed
D. the collapse of a star increases its gravitational force.
E. a dense plasma decreases the star’s gravitational force.

7. According to the passage, an imbalance arises between nuclear radiation pressure and gravitational force in stars because

A. the density of a star increases as it ages
B. radiation pressure increases as a star increases in mass
C. radiation pressure decreases when a star's fuel has been consumed
D. the collapse of a star increases its gravitational force
E. a dense plasma decreases the star's gravitational force


Hi workout u1983

Looks like questions 3 and 7 are same.
Please check and remove or add the new question, if this was bymistake.

Thanks!


Thanks! Edited, removed the duplicate question, Added source and Difficulty level
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Re: The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2018, 15:55
Can anyone explain Q3 & Q5 as there is no clue regarding the decrease of radiation pressure and limit of the gravitational collapse of neutron stars?

Thanks in advance..
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Re: The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2018, 20:44
I Always tend to get primary purpose quetions wrong...

Is there a way to get them right :(
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Re: The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2018, 01:27
1
P1 - discovery of red giant, How neutron star forms
P2 - How a star become black hole.
P3 - paradox and QM

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

D. explain how the collapse of stars challenges accepted theories of physics. --- this one is best covering the whole passage.

------------------------------------
2. According to the passage, in the final stages of its development our own sun is likely to take the form of a

A. white dwarf --- our own sun is small that is why only According

----------------------------------------
3. According to the passage, an imbalance arises between nuclear radiation pressure and gravitational force in stars because

after all of the hydrogen and helium fuel has been burned, the delicate balance between the outer nuclear radiation.pressure and the stable gravitational force becomes disturbed

C. radiation pressure decreases when a star’s fuel has been consumed

------------------------------------------

4. The author asserts that the discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black hole are significant because these discoveries.

because they may be well present physicists with their greatest challenge since the failure of classical mechanics

B. pose the most comprehensive and fundamental problem faced by physicists in decades

-------------------------------------

5. The passage contains information that answers which of the following questions?
I. What is the density limit of the gravitational collapse of neutron stars?
II. At what point in its life cycle does a star begin to contract?
III . What resists the gravitational collapse of a star?

A. I only
B. III only
C. I and II only
D. II and III only
E. I, II, and III

Straight E. No doubt all can be answered.

--------------------------------------------------------

6. The author introduces the discussion of the paradox concerning atomic structures(in highlighted text) in order to

This asks why atomic structures is introduced given paradox. By POE C is final answer.

A. Show why it was necessary to develop quantum mechanics - no, this was not the aim.
B. Compare the structure of an atom with the structure of star - not comparison.
C. Demonstrate by analogy that a vital insight in astrophysics is missing -
D. Illustrate the contention that improbable things do happen in astrophysics - 1.st nothing mentioned as improbable. 2nd atomic structure was not an Illustration.
E. Argue that atoms can collapse if their electrons do not remain in orbit. - no
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Re: The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2018, 23:00
1
Interesting read, all correct in 10 mins, including almost 5 mins to read.
Para 1- discoveries of white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black hole etc and how two of them are formed
Para 2- an extension of para 1 to describe black hole formation
Para 3- analogy using quantum mechanics interpretation of classical mechanics' explanation of atomic structure

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. offer new explanations for the collapse of stars. - Incorrect - no new explanations are provided
B. explain the origins of black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs. - Incorrect
C. compare the structure of atoms with the structure of the solar system. - Incorrect - no such comparison is made
D. explain how the collapse of stars challenges accepted theories of physics. - Correct -
E. describe the imbalance between radiation pressure and gravitational force. - Incorrect - this is just a reason as to why stars begin to contract


2. According to the passage, in the final stages of its development our own sun is likely to take the form of a

A. white dwarf - Correct - If the initial star had mass of less than 1.4 solar masses (1.4 times the mass of our sun), the process ceases at the density of 1,000 tons per cubic inch, and the star becomes the white dwarf.


3. According to the passage, an imbalance arises between nuclear radiation pressure and gravitational force in stars because

C. radiation pressure decreases when a star’s fuel has been consumed - Correct - In the life cycle of the star, after all of the hydrogen and helium fuel has been burned, the delicate balance between the outer nuclear radiation.pressure and the stable gravitational force becomes disturbed and slow contraction begins.



4. The author asserts that the discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black hole are significant because these discoveries.

A. demonstrate the probability of infinite density and infinitely small dimensions - Incorrect - we have this only in the case of black holes
B. pose the most comprehensive and fundamental problem faced by physicists in decades - Correct
C. clarify the paradox suggested by the collapse of electrons into atomic nuclei. - Incorrect - this is used an analogy and the discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black hole DO NOT clarify the classical mechanics' paradox
D. establish the relationship between the mass and gravitational pressure. - incorrect
E. assist in establishing the age of the universe by tracing the life histories of stars. - Out of scope


5. The passage contains information that answers which of the following questions?
I. What is the density limit of the gravitational collapse of neutron stars? -->Gravitational attraction compresses this neutron gas rapidly until a density of 10 tons per cubic inch is reached; at this point the strong nuclear force resists further contraction.
II. At what point in its life cycle does a star begin to contract? --> In the life cycle of the star, after all of the hydrogen and helium fuel has been burned, the delicate balance between the outer nuclear radiation.pressure and the stable gravitational force becomes disturbed and slow contraction begins.
III . What resists the gravitational collapse of a star? -->
Gravitational attraction compresses this neutron gas rapidly until a density of 10 tons per cubic inch is reached; at this point the strong nuclear force resists further contraction.

But if the original star was more massive than a few solar masses, even the strong nuclear forces cannot resist the gravitational crunch.

E. I, II, and III - Correct


6. The author introduces the discussion of the paradox concerning atomic structures(in highlighted text) in order to

A. Show why it was necessary to develop quantum mechanics - Irrelevant
B. Compare the structure of an atom with the structure of star - Irrelevant
C. Demonstrate by analogy that a vital insight in astrophysics is missing - Correct -- With the help of quantum mechanics, we could give an explanation for the paradox faced with classical mechanics' explanation of atomic structure. So, we need a similar explanation to account for improbable things such as infinite density and infinitely small dimensions
D. Illustrate the contention that improbable things do happen in astrophysics - Irrelevant
E. Argue that atoms can collapse if their electrons do not remain in orbit. - Incorrect

Answer C
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Re: The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2018, 10:02
It came to my attention that the GMAT somewhat likes discussing astrophysics...

I have noticed, while reading through the passage, that a show, concerning stars and our universe, I watched a couple of weeks ago at my local planetarium actually helped me to understand this rather complex and technical passage! The show used a visual approach to explain the complexity of dying stars, which helped me to understand the processes described in the passage.

Maybe it helps other people too, definitely payed off in this question!
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Re: The discoveries of the white dwarf, the neutron star, and the black &nbs [#permalink] 26 Nov 2018, 10:02
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