Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

Dava Sobel
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What unusual occurrence helped in early navigation at sea?
(a) Storms.
(b) Solar and lunar eclipses.
(c) Comets.
(d) Asteroids.

2. The Parliamentary committee assembled to respond to the problem of longitude relied on which two experts?
(a) Flamsteed and Thacker.
(b) Whiston and Ditton.
(c) Ptolomy and Jupiter.
(d) Newton and Halley.

3. What was wrong with the watch built within a vacuum?
(a) The pendulum wasn't able to swing freely because of the vacuum.
(b) It was too large to take to sea.
(c) It lost accuracy due to temperature.
(d) It was too expensive for the common sailor.

4. How many times was Harrison married?
(a) Once.
(b) Never.
(c) Three times.
(d) Twice.

5. What could have avoided the tragedy near the Scilly Islands?
(a) If the admiral had listened to a sailor who kept his own navigation.
(b) If the lead ship had followed the directions of the admiral.
(c) If the rudder on the ship hadn't been broken, the captain could have steered away from the islands.
(d) If the stars had been out so the captains could utilize them for navigation.

6. When the Centurion set sail for the South Pacific, what did they not take with them?
(a) Harrison's clock.
(b) Medication to ward off scurvy.
(c) Smith's map.
(d) A compass.

7. How many sailors died near the Scilly Islands?
(a) 500.
(b) 4,000.
(c) 1,000.
(d) 2,000.

8. Why was it remarkable for Harrison to build his first pendulum clock?
(a) He wasn't a watchmakers apprentice.
(b) His design was stolen midway through building the clock.
(c) He came from a very poor family with no means to build a clock.
(d) He was an adamant believer in the astronomical solution to longitude.

9. How was John Harrison educated?
(a) He attended elementary school in his town.
(b) He had no formal education.
(c) He went to Oxford.
(d) He learned alongside Newton.

10. Who was Harrison's right-hand man in building clocks?
(a) His father, Joe.
(b) His son, William.
(c) His son, Jon.
(d) His friend, Newton.

11. Who explained the moons of Jupiter with the velocity of light?
(a) Tycho Brahe.
(b) Cassini.
(c) Ole Roemer.
(d) Galileo.

12. In AD 150, who plotted lines of longitude and latitude?
(a) Galileo.
(b) Moses.
(c) Ptolemy.
(d) Newton.

13. Who completed the first working pendulum clock?
(a) Thomas Blundeville.
(b) Christian Huygens.
(c) Vincenzio.
(d) Galileo.

14. Before using clocks to navigate longitude, sailors used the __________.
(a) Compass.
(b) Sky: sun, moon, stars and constellations.
(c) Maps.
(d) Currents.

15. Besides clocks, what was Hooke known for?
(a) An astronomer, a geologist, and a realist.
(b) A cartologist, a botanist, and an astrologist.
(c) A capitalist, a dramatist, and an environmentalist.
(d) A biologist, a surveyor, and a physicist.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did WIlliam Whiston contribute to the longitude debate?

2. How old was Harrison when he built his first pendulum clock?

3. Who was in command of the ships that ran into the Scilly Islands near England?

4. What did King Louis XIV of France complain about with more accurate measures of longitude?

5. The placement of the prime meridian was a ____________ decision.

(see the answer keys)

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