Given the information in the passage, which one of the following, if true, would have been most likely to reduce the ...

Minerva on August 10, 2019

B vs E

Can someone please explain why E is incorrect and B is correct? Thanks!

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Irina on August 10, 2019


The passage tells us that uranium neutron-bombardment experiments were not aimed at splitting the atoms, and researchers were not even receptive to the possibility (lines 18-22). These experiments produced a puzzling group of radioactive substances but these products remained unidentified "more significantly because of the expectation that they would all be elements close to uranium in nuclear composition" (lines 34-36). (B) tells us that if physicists did not have such expectations, they would likely investigate the resulting substances further and realize that atoms were being split.

Let's look at (E). Experiments in the neutron bombardment of some substance other than uranium would not be helpful to discover "nuclear fission," because the passage only tells us that experiments with URANIUM neutron-bombardment resulted in splitting of the atom, and we cannot infer that using any other substance would produce similar results or that using any other substance would prompt the physicists to set aside their expectations regarding the resulting nuclear composition and further investigate the byproducts of the reaction.

Does this make sense?

Let me know if you have any other questions.