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

2. Tired of climbing hills to study clouds, C. T. R. Wilson invented what?
(a) Balloon-propelled cloud camera.
(b) Indoor cloud chamber.
(c) Cloud telescope.
(d) Cloud simulation computer program.

3. Earth is composed of 8 to 12 larger plates and about how many smaller ones?
(a) Five.
(b) Twenty.
(c) Eighty.
(d) One hundred.

4. Which of the following is NOT a quark "flavor?"
(a) Charm.
(b) Strange.
(c) Inverted.
(d) Down.

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

6. Using a depth sounder during World War II, Harry Hess discovered that ocean floors:
(a) Are too deep to be measured.
(b) Are flat.
(c) Have canyons and trenches.
(d) Have swirling sand drifts.

7. In 1994, scientists observed as the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 struck Jupiter. One particular comet fragment struck the planet with a force of six million megatons, which is equivalent to approximately what?
(a) 7 times the energy of weapons found in a typical nuclear submarine.
(b) 75 times the energy of all nuclear weapons on Earth.
(c) 50 times the energy released by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.
(d) 3 times the energy emitted by a solar flare.

8. Which of the following is not a layer of Earth?
(a) Filling.
(b) Mantle.
(c) Crust.
(d) Core.

9. Scientists eventually figured out that certain unusual rocks near Manson, Iowa, were not because of ancient volcanic activity as they first surmised, but the result of what?
(a) A mini ice age.
(b) A lightning storm.
(c) A huge meteor.
(d) A dynamite explosion.

10. Who postponed his honeymoon in order to write a scientific paper about the movements of electrons?
(a) Albert Einstein.
(b) Niels Bohr.
(c) Ernest Rutherford.
(d) James Chadwick.

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

12. 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) Exactly seven days.
(c) A particular era.
(d) Millions and millions of years.

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

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

15. The fact that Pluto has a moon was not discovered until:
(a) 1965.
(b) 1991.
(c) 1978.
(d) 1936.

Short Answer Questions

1. The British astronomer Martin Rees hypothesizes that there could be an infinite number of what?

2. As of July 2001, approximately how many asteroids had been identified?

3. Arranged side by side, how many atoms can fit across the width of a typical human hair?

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

5. 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?

(see the answer keys)

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