A Short History of Nearly Everything Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

Bill Bryson
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Vesto Slipher's work at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona led him to discover that distant stars are moving away from us, with the farthest stars moving the fastest, suggesting that the universe is:
(a) Stable.
(b) Oscillating.
(c) Expanding.
(d) Shrinking.

2. Who suggested that mass and energy are actually the same thing?
(a) Joseph Lister.
(b) Charles Darwin.
(c) Thomas Edison.
(d) Albert Einstein.

3. According to the Reverend William Buckland, the biblical reference to "in the beginning" with regards to the formation of Earth could refer to:
(a) Myths and legends.
(b) A particular era.
(c) Millions and millions of years.
(d) Exactly seven days.

4. Fred Hoyle came up with the term "Big Bang" while trying to:
(a) Show how life evolved on Earth.
(b) Prove the theory.
(c) Disprove the theory.
(d) Simplify how the universe came to exist.

5. Astronomer Edmond Halley approached mathematician Sir Isaac Newton to get his help figuring out why planets:
(a) Vary in size.
(b) Spin on their axes.
(c) Are round.
(d) Orbit the sun in ellipses.

6. According to the Caltech physicist Richard Feynman, the most important discovery ever made is what?
(a) Electricity.
(b) Pasteurization.
(c) Penicillin.
(d) Atoms.

7. When did the last supervolcano erupt on Earth?
(a) 9,000 years ago.
(b) 23,000 years ago.
(c) 74,000 years ago.
(d) 1,100 years ago.

8. What massive bone belonging to a dinosaur was found in New Jersey in 1789?
(a) Hipbone.
(b) Collarbone.
(c) Shoulder blade.
(d) Thighbone.

9. What is a supernova?
(a) A white dwarf.
(b) A young, emerging star.
(c) A dying star.
(d) A red giant.

10. In addition to being a seventeenth-century astronomer, Christopher Wren designed:
(a) Eyeglasses.
(b) Clothes.
(c) Swords.
(d) Cathedrals.

11. Astronomer Edmond Halley believed that the distance from the Earth to the sun could be deduced from the:
(a) Distance to the moon.
(b) Size of solar flares.
(c) Transits of Venus.
(d) Position of Mars.

12. In 1875, why was Max Planck advised against studying physics and urged to study math instead?
(a) A career in math offered greater financial opportunities for him.
(b) It was believed that all the important physics discoveries had already been made.
(c) Planek knew high-level math but only very basic physics.
(d) The government often arrested those who delved in certain branches of physics.

13. About how many stars are visible to the naked eye from Earth?
(a) 1,200.
(b) 6,000.
(c) 500.
(d) 9,600.

14. When was the Big Bang Theory first proposed?
(a) 1960s.
(b) 1790s.
(c) 1850s.
(d) 1920s.

15. Quarks are held together by gluons and make up what?
(a) Electrons and neutrons.
(b) Electrons and protons.
(c) Protons and neutrons.
(d) Neutrons and neutrinos.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following is NOT a quark "flavor?"

2. Max Planck ignored those who urged him to avoid physics and ended up doing groundbreaking work on:

3. Which of the following is not part of an atom?

4. What campaign did geologist Clair Patterson take on?

5. What is the average distance between asteroids found in the inner solar system between Mars and Jupiter?

(see the answer keys)

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