leap-scholar-logo
hamburger-menu

Striking Back at Lightning with Lasers Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

updated at

Updated on Jun 11, 2024, 11:48

In the IELTS Reading section, your reading comprehension skills are rigorously tested. Lasting for 60 minutes, this segment comprises three passages, each accompanied by a series of questions in various formats like multiple choice, matching headings, and True/False/Not Given. Success in this section hinges on your ability to grasp key information, discern main ideas, and infer meaning from context.
 

To ace the IELTS Reading section, adopt effective reading strategies such as skimming for main ideas and scanning for specific details. Regular practice with sample questions and exposure to different question types will sharpen your skills for test day.

 

Prepare for an enlightening exploration of "Striking Back at Lightning with Lasers," an insightful look into the groundbreaking technology used to protect against lightning strikes. Delve into the scientific principles, challenges, and advancements that make this innovative approach possible through engaging passages and accompanying questions, enriching your understanding of how technology can be harnessed to safeguard our environment and infrastructure from the destructive force of lightning.

On this page

Arrow right
Slider image

1. Striking Back at Lightning with Lasers Reading Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 13 based on the Reading Passage below. This approach can help manage time effectively during a reading comprehension activity or exam. 

Slider image

2. Striking Back at Lightning with LasersReading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Striking Back at Lightning with Lasers

More for you

Boost your IELTS Reading score

Book Free Reading class arrow right

See how to score 8+ in Speaking. 

 

Get proven strategies to ace your IELTS Speaking test.

Learn More arrow right
3/3
1.

Striking Back at Lightning with Lasers Reading Passage

General Information

  • Read Instructions: Understand each question before answering.
  • Manage Time: Spend about 20 minutes per passage.
  • Skim and Scan: Quickly get the main idea and find specific information.
  • Highlight Key Info: Underline essential words or phrases.
  • Answer All Questions: Attempt every question; no penalty for wrong answers.
  • Stay Focused: Avoid distractions and keep your attention on the task.
  • Check Spelling: Ensure correct spelling and grammar.
  • Transfer Answers Clearly: Write answers neatly on the answer sheet.
  • Don’t Dwell: Move on if stuck and return later.
  • Review: If time allows, review your answers.

 

 

 

 

Striking Back at Lightning with Lasers

 

Paragraph A 

The weather is rarely more spectacular than when a thunderstorm strikes. Each year throughout the United States alone, its electrical fury ends up killing or severely injuring nearly 500 people. When the sky begins to darken, a relaxing round of golf could morph into a terrifying gamble with death. If the golfer is alone and out in the open, they could be the most vulnerable target for a lightning bolt. Additionally, there is damage to the property. Destruction done by lightning costs American electricity organisations more than $100 million every year.

 

Paragraph B

However, researchers in both the United States and Japan intend to strike back. They have already conducted tests in laboratories to evaluate how to reduce the strength of thunderstorms, and thus this winter they will face real storms while equipped with an array of lasers that they will be aiming at the sky to discharge thunderclouds before lightning strikes.

 

Paragraph C

The concept of manipulating storm clouds to fire their lightning is not new. In the early 1960s, scientists experimented with launching rockets with trailing cables into thunderclouds in an attempt to create an ideal discharge route for the massive electric charges that these clouds produce. The method is still used today at the test site in Florida, operated by the University of Florida with assistance from the California-based Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI). EPRI, which is financed by power companies, is researching ways to safeguard the United States power grid against lightning strikes. According to Ralph Bernstein, manager of lightning plans at EPRI, they can utilise rockets to compel the lightning to hit wherever we want it to. The rocket site provides accurate measurements of lightning voltages, allowing engineers to evaluate how electrical equipment holds up under extreme conditions.

 

Bad Behaviour

 

Paragraph D

However rockets are ideal for research but cannot offer the protection from lightning everyone wants. The failure rate of the rockets, which cost approximately $1,200 per piece and can only be launched at a limited frequency, is nearly 40%. The circumstances often do not turn out as anticipated despite triggering lightning. According to Bernstein, lightning does not always behave properly. There are times when it will grasp a branch and venture into an area where it is not intended to go.

 

Paragraph E

Besides, who would wish to launch rockets into a populated place? According to University of New Mexico professor Jean-Claude Diels, whatever goes up must come down. Diels is heading an EPRI-supported experiment and attempting to utilise lasers to discharge lightning safely. Safety is indeed a basic criterion because no one wants to endanger themselves or their expensive equipment. A promising technology is only beginning to emerge from the laboratory after an initial investment of about $500,000.

 

Paragraph F

The concept first emerged roughly 20 years ago when incredibly powerful lasers started to demonstrate their capability to remove electrons from atoms and produce ions. Before the electric field is strong enough to cause the air to break down by striking down in an unmanageable flash, lightning could be guided to Earth by creating a line of ionisation in the air that extends up to the storm cloud. The laser should not be pointed directly at the clouds to prevent it from being struck, too. Instead, it would be pointed at a mirror, from which it would be aimed into the sky. The installation of lightning conductors near the mirrors would protect them. The cloud-zapper (gun) would ideally be affordable enough to be placed around all-important power stations and portable enough to be carried to international sporting events to shoot up at developing stormy clouds.

 

 

A Stumbling Block

 

Paragraph G

Though there is still a major stumbling block to overcome, the laser is a monster that occupies an entire room; it is not handy or portable. Diels is attempting to reduce the size and claims that a laser the size of a small table is coming soon. He intends to test this more controllable technique on real thunderclouds next summer.

 

Paragraph H

According to Bernstein, the power stations are displaying a significant interest in Diels' approach. However, they have not yet been able to raise the $5 million that EPRI anticipates would be required to establish a commercial system by making the lasers quite small and inexpensive. Bernstein continues to add that he can't claim he has money yet, but he is still working on it. He believes the upcoming field tests will be a turning point, and he is expecting positive results. If everything goes according to plan, Bernstein predicts there will be an avalanche of interest and support. He anticipates that someday the loud-zappers will cost $50,000 to $100,000 each.

 

Paragraph I

Other scientists might also benefit from it. Materials scientists could understand what happens when strong currents clash with the matter if they had a lightning "switch" in their control. Diels also expects to see the development of "interactive meteorology," which would enable both weather forecasting and weather control. He adds that we might have an impact on the weather if we can discharge clouds.

 

Paragraph J
Diels suggests that humans might be able to deal with other meteorological hazards. He states that they thought they could prevent hail by causing lightning. It is believed that thunder, a shock wave caused by a lightning flash, is what initiates storms and their typical torrential rain. Large hailstones that could be dangerous for crops could potentially not form if a laser thunder factory removes the moisture from the clouds. Hopefully, laser-wielding researchers will be able to retaliate for the first time this winter when storm clouds accumulate.

2.

Striking Back at Lightning with Lasers Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Striking Back at Lightning with Lasers

Questions and Answers 1-3
  • Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
  • Write the correct letter in boxes 1 - 3 on your answer sheet.

 

 

1. As per the passage description, each year lightning ….

 

  1. has mostly killed or injured golfers in the United States.
  2. has injured or killed approximately 500 people across the world.
  3. causes significant damage to the infrastructure during thunderstorms.
  4. harms more than 100 power organizations in America.

 

2. The researchers of the two universities, that is, the University of Florida, and the University of New Mexico ….

 

  1. are working for commercial businesses.
  2. are funded by the same institution.
  3. are opposing one another.
  4. are utilizing identical methods.

 

3. The central theory discussed in this passage is ….

 

  1. attempts of controlling lightning flashes, using laser beams.
  2. the harm caused to the golfers and the destruction of golf courses due to bolts of lightning.
  3. the impact of lightning on the power stations in the United States and Japan.
  4. a range of techniques used in an attempt to control lightning bolts.

 

Striking Back at Lightning with Lasers Reading Answers with Explanations (1-3)

 

Question Type: Multiple Choice 

 

Multiple Choice questions in the IELTS reading test present you with a question followed by a set of options from which you must choose the correct answer. Typically, there are three or four options to choose from. You must carefully read the question and each option before selecting the correct answer.

 

How to best answer this question:

  • You must comprehend the passage to select the most accurate option.
  • Efficient skimming and scanning help locate relevant information quickly.
  • Some options may be designed to mislead you, so it's crucial to base your choice on evidence from the passage.
  • Multiple-choice questions can be time-consuming if you dwell on each option too long. Manage your time wisely to ensure you can attempt all questions.

 

 

1. C- causes significant damage to the infrastructure during thunderstorms.

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph A

Additionally, there is damage to the property. Destruction done by lightning costs American electricity organisations more than $100 million every year.
 

Explanation

This line indicates the significant damage caused by lightning to infrastructure, specifically to electricity organisations in the United States.


 

2. B - are funded by the same institution.

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph C & E

The method is still used today at the test site in Florida, operated by the University of Florida with assistance from the California-based Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI). 
 

According to University of New Mexico professor Jean-Claude Diels, whatever goes up must come down. Diels is heading an EPRI-supported experiment and attempting to utilise lasers to discharge lightning safely.

 

Explanation

Both universities are funded by the same institution, EPRI, which supports their research efforts.


 

3. A - attempts of controlling lightning flashes, using laser beams.

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph B

They have already conducted tests in laboratories to evaluate how to reduce the strength of thunderstorms, and thus this winter they will face real storms while equipped with an array of lasers that they will be aiming at the sky to discharge thunderclouds before lightning strikes.
 

Explanation

The central theory discussed is the attempt to control lightning flashes using laser beams.

Questions and Answers 4-6
  • Complete the sentences below.
  • Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
  • Write your answers in boxes 4 - 6 on your answer sheet.

 

 

4. The biggest challenge in using the laser technique is linked with its ________.

5. The Electrical Power Research Institue (EPRI) is financially supported by the _____________.

6. The method created by Diels is beneficial as it can be used __________.


 

Striking Back at Lightning with Lasers Reading Answers with Explanations (4-6)

 

Type of question: Sentence Completion

 

To answer sentence completion questions accurately, read the given sentence carefully and identify the missing word or phrase. Then, consider the context to determine the most suitable answer option that completes the sentence appropriately. Choosing the option that best fits the context will help you answer sentence completion questions accurately.

 

How to best answer the question

 

  • Carefully read the incomplete sentence and try to understand what information is missing.
  • Pay attention to the context and any clues provided in the sentence or the surrounding text.
  • Choose the option that best completes the sentence based on the information from the reading passage.


 

4. Size

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph G
Though there is still a major stumbling block to overcome, the laser is a monster that occupies an entire room; it is not handy or portable. Diels is attempting to reduce the size and claims that a laser the size of a small table is coming soon.
 

Explanation

The paragraph explains that the biggest challenge with the laser technique is its large size, which makes it not handy or portable.


 

5. Power Companies

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph C

EPRI, which is financed by power companies, is researching ways to safeguard the United States power grid against lightning strikes.

 

Explanation

This line indicates that the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) is financially supported by power companies.


 

6. Safely

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph E

Diels is heading an EPRI-supported experiment and attempting to utilize lasers to discharge lightning safely. Safety is indeed a basic criterion because no one wants to endanger themselves or their expensive equipment.

 

Explanation

The paragraph states that the method created by Diels aims to discharge lightning safely, highlighting safety as a key benefit.

Questions and Answers 7-10
  • Complete the summary using the list of words, A - I, below.
  • Write the correct letter A - I, in boxes 7 - 10 on your answer sheet.

 

 

This approach involves removing electrons from (7.)_____ using a laser to produce a line of ionisation. This laser would then be aimed at (8.)_______ to regulate electrical charges, a technique that is safer than launching (9.)_________. The laser beams are initially aimed at (10.)_______ to protect the lasers from damage.


 

  1. rockets
  2. technique
  3. ions 
  4. cloud-zappers
  5. atoms
  6. thunder
  7. conductors
  8. mirrors
  9. storm clouds

 

 

Striking Back at Lightning with Lasers Reading Answers with Explanations (7-10)

 

Type of Question: Summary Completion

 

Summary completion questions provide a summary of part of the reading passage with several blanks. Your task is to fill in these blanks with appropriate words or phrases from the passage. The summary may cover a whole passage or a part of it, focusing on key points and main ideas.
 

How to best answer this question:

 

  • Quickly skim the passage to get an idea of its main ideas and structure.
  • Focus on keywords in the summary and look for them or their synonyms in the passage.
  • Carefully read the instructions to know the word limit and any specific guidelines.
  • Identify the part of the passage related to the summary. This often involves scanning for keywords or phrases.
  • Ensure the words you choose fit grammatically and contextually within the summary.
  • After filling in the blanks, review the summary to ensure it makes sense and adheres to the word limit.

 

 

7. atoms

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph F 

The concept first emerged roughly 20 years ago when incredibly powerful lasers started to demonstrate their capability to remove electrons from atoms and produce ions.
 

Explanation

This line explains that the process involves using lasers to remove electrons from atoms to produce a line of ionization.


 

8. storm clouds

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph F
The cloud-zapper (gun) would ideally be affordable enough to be placed around all-important power stations and portable enough to be carried to international sporting events to shoot up at developing stormy clouds.
 

Explanation

The paragraph states that the cloud-zapper (laser) is aimed at storm clouds to regulate electrical charges.


 

9. rockets

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph C
In the early 1960s, scientists experimented with launching rockets with trailing cables into thunderclouds in an attempt to create an ideal discharge route for the massive electric charges that these clouds produce.

 

Explanation

This line describes the earlier method of using rockets with trailing cables, which the new laser technique aims to replace for safety reasons.


 

10. Mirrors

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph F 

Instead, it would be pointed at a mirror, from which it would be aimed into the sky. To save the very expensive laser equipment, costing around $1,200 each, it should be aimed at mirrors that are pointed at the sky.

 

Explanation

The paragraph mentions that the laser is aimed at mirrors to protect the laser equipment from damage.

Questions and Answers 11-13
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage?
In boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet write,

  • YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
  • NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
  • NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

 

 

11. The weather forecasters showed immense interest in the system developed by Diels.

12. Diels has received sufficient funds from the power companies to make his laser.

13. Tests in real storms would determine whether the lasers will receive funds to be improved.

 

Striking Back at Lightning with Lasers Reading Answers with Explanations (11-13)

 

Question Type:  Yes/No/Not Given

 

In this task, you are presented with a statement, and your task is to determine if it agrees with the information in the passage (Yes), contradicts the information in the passage (No), or if there is insufficient information in the passage to decide (not given).
 

How to best answer the question:

 

  • Read the statement carefully to ensure you understand exactly what it is saying. 
  • Pay attention to details such as dates, numbers, and specific information.
  • Scan the passage to find the section where the relevant information is likely to be located. 
  • Focus on finding evidence that either supports or contradicts the statement.
  • Yes: If the statement agrees with the information in the passage.
  • No: If the statement contradicts the information in the passage.
  • Not Given: If there is no information in the passage that confirms or contradicts the statement.

 

 

11. Not Given

 

Reference

 

Paragraph 

NA

 

Explanation
There is no information regarding weather forecasters showing interest in Diels’s system. Hence the answer is not given.


 

12. No

 

Reference

 

Paragraph H 

However, they have not yet been able to raise the $5 million that EPRI anticipates would be required to establish a commercial system by making the lasers quite small and inexpensive.
 

Explanation

This line indicates that Diels has not yet received sufficient funds from the power companies to make his laser.


 

13. Yes

 

Reference

 

Paragraph H 

He believes the upcoming field tests will be a turning point, and he is expecting positive results. If everything goes according to plan, Bernstein predicts there will be an avalanche of interest and support.
 

Explanation

This line shows that tests in real storms would determine whether the lasers will receive funds to be improved.

Next Up

IELTS Reading Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Speaking Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Listening Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Writing Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Important Information

IELTS Accepting Countries

IELTS Accepting Universities

Read More about IELTS Practice Test

Top Reading Samples with Answers

IELTS Test Centre and Dates in India

FAQs

Q. What types of questions are there in the IELTS Reading section?

Ans. The IELTS Reading section includes various question types such as multiple choice, True/False/Not Given, matching headings, matching information, sentence completion, summary completion, and note completion. Familiarising yourself with these formats can help improve your test-taking strategies.

Q. How can I manage my time effectively during the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. To manage your time efficiently, allocate approximately 20 minutes per passage. Skim the text to grasp the main ideas and scan for specific details when answering questions. Practising with timed reading tests will help you improve your ability to complete the section within the 60-minute timeframe.

Q. How can I improve my comprehension skills for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. Enhance your comprehension skills by regularly reading a variety of texts and practising skimming and scanning techniques. Focus on expanding your vocabulary and using context clues to understand unfamiliar words. Additionally, regularly taking practice tests will help you become more familiar with the test format and question types.