The Universe in a Nutshell Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. What have serious effects on a quantum theory of gravity?

2. What does supersymmetry imply?

3. What may be a law of nature?

4. What is thought to expand at an accelerating rate in our universe?

5. What is one reason Hawking takes multiple dimensions seriously?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why can't we coherently ask why the universe is the way it is?

2. What paper did Einstein write with Grossman in 1913 and what happened in 1915 related to this same project?

3. What does it mean for stars to be red-shifted or blue-shifted?

4. What is the no boundary condition, and what does it imply?

5. Who worked on quantum mechanics in the 1920s, and what discovery was made?

6. What is space-time?

7. What is considered to be expanding in our universe, and why does Hawking think this is beneficial?

8. What did Einstein do in 1905 that launched him to the top of the scientific community?

9. What is vacuum energy?

10. What does Hawking believe the possibility of intelligent beings' existence depends on?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discussing the future is very prevalent throughout Hawking's book. Write an essay that focuses on two key anxieties and two hopes that Hawking, another scientist, or you, have, for the future of humanity's development, whether it be biological or electronic.

Essay Topic 2

What are zero point fluctuations and what serious effects do they have on the quantum theory of gravity? Be sure to discuss Feynman, Schwinger and Tomonaga's work with zero point fluctuations.

Essay Topic 3

Hawking's extensive research of black holes has provided us with informative clues for how black holes might actually work. Write an essay that uses Hawking's research to formulate a summary of our knowledge of black holes before and after Hawking's scientific work.

(see the answer keys)

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