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

Bill Bryson
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. In the 1960s, what did Bob Christiansen realize about Yellowstone National Park after observing NASA-supplied images?
(a) The park holds thousands of volcanoes.
(b) Practically the whole park is a volcano.
(c) Most of the park was created by a massive earthquake.
(d) The park was carved by moving glaciers.

2. In a span of just 20 years, the number of known moons in the solar system grew from:
(a) 60 to more than 500.
(b) 10 to more than 25.
(c) 30 to more than 90.
(d) 12 to more than 300.

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

4. Arranged side by side, how many atoms can fit across the width of a typical human hair?
(a) Half a million.
(b) Five hundred.
(c) Five thousand.
(d) Half a trillion.

5. Which famous scientist was once an unknown patent clerk in Switzerland?
(a) Thomas Edison.
(b) Charles Darwin.
(c) Albert Einstein.
(d) Joseph Lister.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is an extremophile?

2. Plate tectonics refers to:

3. 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?

4. Invented in the 1930s, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have proven to be damaging to:

5. Which of the following is not a major geological era?

Short Essay Questions

1. What explanation did James Hutton come up with to describe the phenomenon of seashell fossils frequently found on mountaintops?

2. Describe the protons, neutrons, and electrons of an atom.

3. How does the Superstring Theory explain quarks?

4. Who is the Reverend Robert Evans, and what is he known for?

5. Describe what happened after the last supervolcano erupted on Earth. When did this happen?

6. How close did asteroids come to Earth in 1991 and 1993?

7. Explain the misunderstanding of radiation during the early 1900s.

8. What happened when, in 1896, Henri Becquerel accidentally left a packet of uranium salts on top of a wrapped photographic plate?

9. What are quarks? How are they categorized and classified?

10. Why does Bryson consider Pluto to be an oddity?

(see the answer keys)

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