LSAT 2 – Section 4 – Question 16

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Question
QuickView
Type Tags Answer
Choices
Curve Question
Difficulty
Psg/Game/S
Difficulty
Explanation
PT2 S4 Q16
+LR
Weaken +Weak
A
3%
144
B
3%
149
C
90%
161
D
1%
147
E
3%
148
134
141
148
+Easier 145.613 +SubsectionMedium

This is a weakening question: Which one of the following, if true, would cast doubt on the experimenters’ conclusion?

Our stimulus begins with a definition of nuclear fusion; nuclear fusion is a process where nuclei fuse and release energy. We then learn that this process creates a by-product; helium-4 gas. Having established this context, we now learn about an experiment involving “heavy” water. I don’t know about you, but I have no idea what “heavy” water is; luckily the LSAT is about our reasoning skills and not chemistry. We learn that the water is contained in a sealed flask within an air-filled chamber, and that after the experiment some Helium-4 was found in the chamber. The people running the experiment concluded that there must have been nuclear fusion that happened. Since this is a weakening question involving a hypothesis, we should look for an alternate hypothesis in the answer choices, an alternate possible explanation for why there was helium-4 in the chamber. Let’s see what we get:

Answer Choice (A) The researcher’s explanation is entirely compatible with this.

Answer Choice (B) But was it fusion that produced the helium-4?

Correct Answer Choice (C) We are told the chamber was air-filled, so we would therefore expect that level of helium-4. This is a much better explanation than that nuclear fusion occurred!

Answer Choice (D) But it was helium-4 they found. If anything this suggests the helium-4 was recently produced which might support the fusion hypothesis.

Answer Choice (E) Cool, but we weren’t told anything about heat; for all we know there was a large release of heat and our experiment runners hypothesis is entirely correct.

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