It’s Dynamite Reading Ielts Answers and Questions

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  • IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given
  • IELTS Reading Summary Completion
  • IELTS Reading Short Answer questions 

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IELTS reading passage – It’s Dynamite

It’s Dynamite

A railroad corporation in America started building a tunnel through the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1866. They ran across some especially tough rock and had to order three boxes of the only blasting explosive that would work: nitroglycerine. The first of these containers arrived at a San Francisco postal facility, where after being dropped accidently, it immediately exploded, killing all 15 workers inside. The idea was understood. Nitro has a hazardous sensitivity to shock. As soon as its shipping was outlawed, it had to be produced on-site by laboratories, which was costly and yet highly dangerous as seen by the number of fatal explosions.

There are many such tragic occurrences in the nitroglycerine’s history. Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero created it for the first time in 1847, but he delayed publishing his discoveries because he was so terrified of what he had found. In both private letters and a journal paper, he was the first to warn the world against its usage, claiming that it was impossible to handle the material responsibly. However, it was quickly found that nitro was significantly less susceptible to shock when frozen (at roughly five degrees). The issue emerged when it was thawed back into liquid form because it then became much more unstable. A growing death toll would confirm this, once more.

Nonetheless, since nitroglycerine was the first useful mining explosive created, it has always been in demand. Gunpowder was previously utilized, but it was ineffective and cumbersome. Gupowder is a “low” explosive, which means that it “burns” from layer to layer and releases gases that expand more slowly than sound. Nitro is a “high” explosive, which means that it “detonates” — that is, is prompted to respond by the almost inaudible shock wave — and creates gases that expand faster than sound. Gunpowder effectively could not shatter rock (although it was suitable for bullets and artillery shells). Only nitro could effectively complete the task, and Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist, developed an interest in it.

When the production of iron and steel was shifting to the practically sole production of cannons, weaponry, and gunpowder, Nobel recognized the potential economic benefit of making nitroglycerine manageable. He started experimenting, but it cost him a lot of money. His younger brother and a number of workers perished in a factory disaster in 1864. In an effort to identify the solution, Nobel undertook the construction of a new factory in the isolated German hills. He initially tried mixing nitro with regular gunpowder and selling the resulting product as “blasting oil,” but unintentional explosions persisted. Twice, his factory was completely destroyed.

The breakthrough was made possible by the combination of liquid nitroglycerine and “diatomaceous earth,” an inert absorbent silicate sand. Diatomite, a rock that can be found in the nearby hills, was ground down to create this. Being extremely light and porous, it resembles volcanic pumice but is actually made of the fossilized remains of diatoms, a hard-shelled alga. As a result of being solid, nitro became immediately less hazardous to handle and easier to store and carry. The name “dynamite,” derived from the Greek word “dyna” for “power,” was given to Nobel’s creation when he filed a patent for it in 1867.

Dynamite’s most well-known form was made of short paper-wrapped sticks that contained three quarters diatomaceous earth and one quarter, but it would always be risky to make, store, and use. With all the ensuing instability of raw nitro, the nitro can eventually seep out and crystallize on the outside of the sticks or pool at the bottom of storage containers. However, the product would make Nobel a fortune in an era of massive railroad and tunnel building. Although high explosives are useful for engineering projects during peacetime, the public was aware that Nobel’s riches was also built on the sale of weapons of mass destruction.The circumstances that followed the death of his brother Ludvig caused Nobel to become quite upset. The French newspapers wrongly reported Alfred’s passing as having occurred and ran an obituary. One can only imagine Alfred’s response when he learned of his own passing as he was at that time in France. The obituary, however, was critical and condemning, referring to Nobel as a “dealer of death” who “made wealthy by developing ways to kill more people faster than ever before.” He wrote a new last will and testament in 1895, a year before he passed away, and it is unquestionably because of this event. Everyone would be shocked, and history would be altered.

Except from a few small bequests, Alfred Nobel requested that his enormous fortune—roughly $200 million in today’s dollars—be used to establish the Nobel Awards when he passed away at the age of 63, alone and childless. These would be given out annually to persons in the fields of physics, chemistry, peace, medicine, and literature who contribute the “most benefit to mankind.” The Nobel Awards are currently regarded as some of the most prestigious in the world, proving that Nobel’s method was successful. Few people realize that the production of nitroglycerin, dynamite, gunpowder, and armaments—which indirectly contribute to untold human carnage—is the source of all that money.

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It’s Dynamite Reading Questions

Questions 1-4 

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage? In boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement is true
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage.

1. Nitroglycerine is riskier than dynamite.
2. Because of his wealth, the French newspaper criticized Alfred Nobel.
3. Nobel’s friends received some money from his will.
4. Many people today criticize Nobel for creating weaponry.

Enhance your skills in identifying information as True, False, or Not Given. Click here to discover expert strategies and techniques for mastering this question type in the IELTS Reading section.

Questions 5-9 

Complete the summary of the first three paragraphs. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Nitroglycerine could explode with even a small 5_______ thus it was the cause of a growing 6________ It was able to 7_______ since, in contrast to gunpowder, it 8________ When 9________nitro could be handled more safely, yet deaths continued.

Boost your performance in Summary, Notes, Table, and Flowchart Completion tasks. Click here to explore our detailed guide and learn how to effectively complete summaries, notes, tables, and flowcharts in the IELTS Reading section.

Questions 10-13 

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for
each answer.

10. What were the first two products manufactured by Nobel’s companies?
11. What was the name of the first nitroglycerine product?
12. What type of rock is diatomite?13. In which field was dynamite most useful?

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Recommended Questions:

Renewable Energy IELTS Reading Question with Answer

It’s Dynamite Reading answers



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