Verbal Ability – Summary – Physics is a pure science that seeks to


Slot – 1 – VA

Physics is a pure science that seeks to – Video


Q. The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.

Physics is a pure science that seeks to understand the behavior of matter without regard to whether it will afford any practical benefit. Engineering is the correlative applied science in which physical theories are put to some specific use, such as building a bridge or a nuclear reactor. Engineers obviously rely heavily on the discoveries of physicists, but an engineer’s knowledge of the world is not the same as the physicist’s knowledge. In fact, an engineer’s know-how will often depend on physical theories that, from the point of view of pure physics, are false. There are some reasons for this. First, theories that are false in the purest and strictest sense are still sometimes very good approximations to the true ones, and often have the added virtue of being much easier to work with. Second, sometimes the true theories apply only under highly idealized conditions which can only be created under controlled experimental situations. The engineer finds that in the real world, theories rejected by physicists yield more accurate predictions than the ones that they accept.

  1. The relationship between pure and applied science is strictly linear, with the pure science directing applied science, and never the other way round.
  2. Though engineering draws heavily from pure science, it contributes to knowledge, by incorporating the constraints and conditions in the real world
  3. The unique task of the engineer is to identify, understand, and interpret the design constraints to produce a successful result.
  4. Engineering and physics fundamentally differ on matters like building a bridge or a nuclear reactor
Answer: 2

Solution: Let us sum up the passage. The passage states that physics seeks to understand the behavior of matter without regard to whether it will afford any practical benefit while engineering uses the theories of physics for some specific use. Secondly, in real world situations, engineers often use theories from physics that have been rejected under controlled experimental situations.
Option 1 is an assumption that is not borne out by the passage. The passage does state that theories of physics or pure sciences do direct applied sciences such as engineering but we do not know whether or not the reverse is true. Thus, option 1 is eliminated.
Option 2 summarizes the paragraph succinctly. It restates the meanings given in summing up the passage. Though engineering uses a lot of theories of physics it also accepts a lot of theories rejected by physicists that have been created in controlled experimental situations because they happen to work in real world situations.
Option 3 erroneously refers to “design constraints” instead of the “acceptance and rejections of theories of pure science.” The paragraph does not mention “design constraints” at all but the fact that engineers frequently use theories of physics that have been rejected in controlled experimental situations. Thus, option 3 is eliminated.
Option 4 distorts the meaning of the paragraph. Engineering and physics do not fundamentally differ on matters like building a bridge or a nuclear reactor. The paragraph states in sentence 2 that engineers use the theories of physics to build bridges and nuclear reactors. It is just that some theories of physics which have been rejected in controlled experimental situations are put into use by engineers in real world situations but fundamentally engineers use the theories of physics and do not differ from them.
Hence, the correct answer is option 2.



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