This is an explanation for passage 2 of LSAT preptest 37, the June 2002 LSAT. This passage is about the scientist, Marie Curie. It discusses how her discoveries allowed us to understand radiation, and why she herself was unable to discover how radiation work.
This section has paragraph summaries and an analysis of the passage, links to the explanations for the questions are below.
- A description of how Marie Curie discovered radium and polonium. Other results of Curie’s research.
- How radiation works. Why Curie could not have known (the evidence wasn’t there).
- In Curie’s time, chemists and physicists debated what the atom was like.
- Curie was a physicist; their theory about atoms was incorrect. That explains why Curie didn’t discover how radiation worked. But her work helped later researchers.
The passage is favorable towards Curie. It praises her discoveries, and explains away her failure to discover the cause of radiation. Physicists and chemists are mentioned in paragraph 3 to give context: Curie was a physicist, and believed that the atom was not divisible. That explains why she couldn’t have figured out how radiation worked. Quantum mechanics (the correct theory) came later.
Most of the questions deal with Curie’s failure to explain radiation, and how she isn’t really to blame. Reread paragraphs 2-4 if you have some doubts on this point.
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