The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest For… Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

Brian Greene
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Black holes are dense and massive cosmological bodies. What unique distinction do they have?
(a) They are the only objects that emit gamma rays.
(b) Light cannot escape their gravitational well.
(c) They are the only types of stars that can produce uranium and heavier elements.
(d) Neutrinos always flow towards them.

2. What is the quantum, or messenger particle, of the weak force?
(a) The up quark.
(b) The weak gauge boson.
(c) The neutrino.
(d) The Higgs boson.

3. In 1968 it was discovered that protons and neutrons are composed of which type of particle?
(a) Neutrinos.
(b) Muons.
(c) Quarks.
(d) Baryons.

4. What is the Planck tension?
(a) The attraction felt by a string through the strong force.
(b) The typical tension in a string.
(c) The pull between strings at the Planck length.
(d) The vacuum-energy of a matter and anti-matter string pair.

5. Einstein's equation, E=mc^2, states that which of the following are equivalent?
(a) Energy and light.
(b) Light and magnetism.
(c) Energy and mass.
(d) Electricity and magnetism.

6. Which of the following was the first string theory?
(a) Bosonic string theory.
(b) Hadron string theory.
(c) Fermionic string theory.
(d) Lepton theory.

7. According to string theory, why do different particles have different properties?
(a) They have different types of strings.
(b) Their strings do not have the same number of dimensions.
(c) Their strings are vibrating in different patterns.
(d) Their strings are different lengths.

8. What is the fundamental particle, the smallest possible bundle of energy, for the electromagnetic force?
(a) The gluon.
(b) The neutrino.
(c) The photon.
(d) The electron.

9. What property of electromagnetic waves did Max Planck solve the thermodynamic problem of the oven by discovering?
(a) They have a minimum energy, proportional to their frequency.
(b) Waves are really particles.
(c) They can penetrate or "tunnel" through any surface.
(d) There are infinite numbers of waves, but each has an infinitely small energy.

10. Which of the following is true regarding the mass and spin of a pair of superpartners?
(a) They have the same mass and spin.
(b) Their masses and spins are not related.
(c) They have unrelated masses, and their spins differ by 1.
(d) They have the same mass, and their spins differ by 1/2.

11. How can black holes be detected?
(a) By their effects on objects around them.
(b) By looking for dark gaps in clusters of stars.
(c) By observing the directions of solar winds.
(d) With an ultraviolet-range telescope.

12. Which of the following is NOT an actual version of string theory?
(a) Type IIA theory.
(b) Heterotic type O(32) theory.
(c) Fermionic type IV theory.
(d) Type I theory.

13. Which of the following is true regarding experimental confirmation of string theory?
(a) It was confirmed in the 1980s.
(b) It has been experimentally confirmed, but the data are still being processed.
(c) It has not yet been experimentally confirmed.
(d) It can never be confirmed.

14. Edwin Hubble used Einstein's theories to show that the fabric of the universe _____.
(a) Is not flat, it is curved, either inwards or outwards.
(b) Has a finite boundary.
(c) Is uniform in all places and times.
(d) Is not static, it must either be shrinking or expanding.

15. What is the quantum, or messenger particle, of the strong force?
(a) The gluon.
(b) The baryon.
(c) The hadron.
(d) The muon.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to general relativity, all objects that have mass have what effect on space-time?

2. According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, if two objects have a gravitational pull on one another, and one changes its mass or distance from the other, how quickly does the effect of this change travel to the other object?

3. According to special relativity, which of the following can move faster than light?

4. What rule did Max Planck discover the electromagnetic waves bounded in a container, such as an oven, must follow?

5. If a clock were accelerated to nearly the speed of light for a year's time, which of the following would be true of its reading at the end of that time?

(see the answer keys)

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