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

2. 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) Expanding.
(b) Stable.
(c) Oscillating.
(d) Shrinking.

3. Our universe is at least how many light-years wide?
(a) 5 trillion.
(b) 350 trillion.
(c) 50 million trillions.
(d) 100 billion.

4. As of July 2001, approximately how many asteroids had been identified?
(a) 240.
(b) 26,000.
(c) 2,700.
(d) 29,000,000.

5. James Hutton was a geologist who wondered why:
(a) Polar ice caps do not melt.
(b) There are no polar bears in Antarctica.
(c) The Great Barrier Reef is off the coast of Australia.
(d) Seashell fossils are found on mountaintops.

6. What is an extremophile?
(a) An organism adapted to living in extreme conditions.
(b) A researcher who explores extremely isolated regions.
(c) An extremely large living organism.
(d) A scientist who studies climate extremes.

7. What did the French Compte de Buffon claim about the New World (the Americas) compared to the known Old World?
(a) Unusual, enormous species would be found in the New World.
(b) The New World was much more fertile than the old.
(c) Diseases of the New World would be much more deadly than in the Old World.
(d) Everything was smaller and inferior in the New World.

8. Earth is the only planet in the solar system to have what?
(a) Storms.
(b) Mountains and valleys.
(c) Plate tectonics.
(d) Moons.

9. When radiation was first discovered, it was sometimes added to:
(a) Stews and casseroles.
(b) Drinking water.
(c) Gasoline and alcohol.
(d) Toothpastes and laxatives.

10. In 1903, who won the Nobel Prize in physics for discovering radioactivity?
(a) René Just Haüy and Jean Becquerel.
(b) Marie Curie, Pierre Curie, and Henri Becquerel.
(c) Louise Désirée Lorieux, Jean Becquerel, and Henri Becquerel.
(d) Marie Curie and Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen.

11. After noticing an unusual phenomenon with uranium salts and a photographic plate, Henri Becquerel asked one of his graduate students to investigate the matter. Who was this student?
(a) Louise Désirée Lorieux.
(b) René Just Haüy.
(c) Marie Curie.
(d) Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen.

12. What followed the last supervolcanic eruption on Earth in the region that is now northern Sumatra?
(a) Twenty years of intense earthquakes.
(b) A two-year series of tidal waves.
(c) A six-year volcanic winter.
(d) A reversal of the magnetic poles.

13. The Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is thought to be the site of what?
(a) Landfall of the largest hurricane in the past thousand years.
(b) Asteroid impact that brought on the extinction of dinosaurs.
(c) First legitimate UFO landing.
(d) Most advanced ancient telescope ever developed.

14. Continental drift refers to:
(a) Changing weather patterns.
(b) Tides affecting the shape of continents.
(c) Unique cloud drifts over different continents.
(d) Continents drifting apart.

15. James Hutton believed that the natural forces forming the geology of Earth are:
(a) Random and unpredictable.
(b) Still at work.
(c) Impossible to classify.
(d) Now extinct.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is found at the very center of the Earth?

2. Through the examples provided about Thomas Midgley's inventions, what is the author trying to say about science?

3. Approximately how many miles are there from Earth's surface to its core?

4. When French physicist Henri Becquerel accidentally left a packet of uranium salts on a photographic plate, what happened?

5. What are so small that the dot on the letter "i" could hold 5 billion of them?

(see the answer keys)

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