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CAT Paragraph Summary Question 14

Question 14:

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 behaviour 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.
Option: 2

The passage broadly talks about the difference between purse science and applied science, i.e. engineering. Further the author says that engineers might find even those theories of physics useful that from the point of view of pure physics are false. Option 2 precisely captures that. It says that engineering incorporates the constraints and conditions of physics in the real world.

Option 1 says the relationship is strictly linear, but that is not the case. Had that been the case, the false theories of pure science could not have been used by engineers for accurate predictions.

Option 3 goes out because it does not even mention the word pure science. It solely focuses on engineers, ignoring the relationship between purse science and engineering.

Option 4 gives a summary that is totally different from the what the passage discusses.

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