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 beeryslurs
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: Mar 18, 2020
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#75898
Hi. I was stuck between B and D on this one. I've seen people elsewhere said that B was wrong because it was not Planck who demonstrated that radiation exists as particles, but I think you can also see B as saying:

“Classical wave theory, an incorrect formulation of the nature of radiation, was corrected by Planck, and other physicists after Planck performed experiments that demonstrated that radiation exists as particles."

I think the understanding above also makes sense and is supported by the passage? Can anyone help me with this? Thanks in advance.
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
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  • Joined: Apr 14, 2011
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#75983
First of all, beeryslurs, your username is fantastic.

But your insertion of the extra comma in answer B is not fantastic, I'm sorry to say, because it very definitely changes the meaning of the answer. We need to evaluate the answer as it is given to us, not as it might be interpreted if we were to alter it. While changing it as you did might make it an attractive answer choice, we have to deal with it as it was written. The problem is as others have described it - Planck did not do any experiments, as made clear by the claim at the end of the third paragraph which tells us that "he presented (his hypothesis) without physical explanation."

An important lesson here, and one reinforced not long ago in a case before the Supreme Court involving certain rights of union truck drivers - the placement of a comma (or in this case, the absence of one) can completely change the meaning in crucial ways! (The truckers won because of the lack of an Oxford comma, IIRC).
 beeryslurs
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: Mar 18, 2020
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#76033
Adam Tyson wrote:First of all, beeryslurs, your username is fantastic.

But your insertion of the extra comma in answer B is not fantastic, I'm sorry to say, because it very definitely changes the meaning of the answer. We need to evaluate the answer as it is given to us, not as it might be interpreted if we were to alter it. While changing it as you did might make it an attractive answer choice, we have to deal with it as it was written. The problem is as others have described it - Planck did not do any experiments, as made clear by the claim at the end of the third paragraph which tells us that "he presented (his hypothesis) without physical explanation."

An important lesson here, and one reinforced not long ago in a case before the Supreme Court involving certain rights of union truck drivers - the placement of a comma (or in this case, the absence of one) can completely change the meaning in crucial ways! (The truckers won because of the lack of an Oxford comma, IIRC).
Thank you for your detailed reply!

I understand your point that we should evaluate the answer as it is given to us, but when I read it the first time I just saw it that way (didn't even have a second thought till I knew the correct answer). So without the comma, the orginal answer choice can only mean that Planck did the experiment and nothing else? I just think if there's no comma then there might be two different ways to for test takers to punctuate and understand the sentence, which makes this answer choice ambiguous. I'm not a natvie speaker and I'm really curious. Thanks in advance!
 Christen Hammock
PowerScore Staff
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  • Joined: May 14, 2020
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#76124
Hey beeryslurs!

Commas tell us how to group things (in this case, the subjects of the sentence). You're absolutely right that this isn't a well-written sentence either way! The comma you inserted changes the answer to "other physicists after Planck," which indicates that those physicists are in a totally separate group, conducting experiments. The answer choice keeps them all in the same group: "was corrected by Planck and other physicists." That changes the next clause from "Planck performed experiments" to "other physicists after Planck performed experiments."

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