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

Bill Bryson
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to the Reverend William Buckland, the biblical reference to "in the beginning" with regards to the formation of Earth could refer to:

2. Fred Hoyle came up with the term "Big Bang" while trying 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. Who suggested that mass and energy are actually the same thing?

5. Who postponed his honeymoon in order to write a scientific paper about the movements of electrons?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is the term "dinosaurian" a misnomer?

2. Where do earthquakes occur?

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

4. Describe some of the theories regarding what might have caused the Big Bang.

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

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

7. Describe what happened to an enormous thighbone discovered in New Jersey in 1789.

8. What happened when Max Planck was advised to study math instead of physics?

9. Who was Bob Christiansen, and how did he determine that Yellowstone is a supervolcano?

10. Explain how inventor and engineer, Thomas Midley, Jr., solved some problems but created enormous safety and environmental issues by adding lead to gasoline and by inventing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe how radiation was discovered. How was it researched? What happened to the researchers? What misunderstandings did people first have about radiation? How did these misunderstandings affect the public? What do we now know about radiation that people failed to recognize initially?

Essay Topic 2

How has man influenced the extinction of plant and animal species? How does the author feel about this influence? What does his writing state or imply about what should be done differently?

Essay Topic 3

Describe earthquakes, including the mechanism behind them, where they can hit, and how they are measured.

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