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

Brian Greene
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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. According to special relativity, which of the following can move faster than light?
(a) Quantum data.
(b) Gravitational waves.
(c) Neutrinos.
(d) Nothing can move faster than light.

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?
(a) At exactly the speed of light.
(b) Instantaneously.
(c) Near the speed of light, faster for lighter objects.
(d) Near the speed of light, faster for more massive objects.

3. What is the photoelectric effect?
(a) Photons can spontaneously decay into electrons in powerful magnetic fields.
(b) Electrons and photons only interact if they have the same frequency.
(c) When light shines on metals, the metals emit electrons.
(d) Electrons follow quantum paths made by photons.

4. Which physicist is credited with discovering that light is composed of particles?
(a) Einstein.
(b) Maxwell.
(c) Rutherford.
(d) Planck.

5. What is quantum foam?
(a) The rapidly changing spatial distortions at the Planck length.
(b) The faint material ejected by black holes.
(c) Particles that are scattered from their normal positions by quantum interference.
(d) The mixture of short-lived particles observed after a matter and anti-matter collision.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the Planck mass?

2. Which of the following is true of a particle's spin?

3. When the distance between two objects is doubled, what happens to the strength of the gravitational pull between them?

4. Black holes are dense and massive cosmological bodies. What unique distinction do they have?

5. The wave-like nature of the electron means that after a collision, _____.

Short Essay Questions

1. What are super-partners?

2. Describe the nature and origin of quantum foam.

3. What are strings composed of?

4. Describe a black hole, including some of its physical properties and methods by which it can be detected.

5. Referring to the experiment described in question Short Essay #6, what would the three observers see according to the theory of special relativity?

6. Describe Max Planck's solution to the infinite-energy problem.

7. Describe the basic principles of string theory.

8. State Newton's law of gravity.

9. List the four fundamental forces of the universe, their functions, and describe where and at what scales they are most commonly observed.

10. Adam is in his spaceship, at rest, when Ben's ship passes by, moving at nearly the speed of light. Adam observes that Ben's ship seems to be shorter than normal, and the clock on the outside of the ship is running very slowly. When he tells Ben about this, Ben claims that his ship was at rest, and that Adam passed him at nearly the speed of light. Ben also claims to have seen the same unusual problems with Adam's ship; it appeared shorter and its clock was running slowly. Adam and Ben's observations are both perfectly valid. Why?

(see the answer keys)

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