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. Who believed they could interpret General Relativity so time had an infinite past and an infinite future?

2. What may the no boundary condition imply?

3. What do we need to describe what happens on the edge of the universe?

4. According to Popper, what happens if positivism is true?

5. Why is it important that the sky is dark?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was considered the foundation of a TOE and why did it go out of fashion?

2. What changed about the way we view zero point fluctuations in the 1940s?

3. How did the general relativity theory break down?

4. What is Hawking's view about mathematical models?

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

6. What kind of history might the universe have, according to quantum mechanics?

7. Briefly describe Einstein's involvement in the events of WWII.

8. What is vacuum energy?

9. What is a p = 1 brane and a p = 2 brane?

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

Hawking discusses the concept of brane worlds at length. Since brane worlds are a very difficult and far-reaching topic, write an essay that seeks to succinctly summarize the concept of brane worlds and their relationship with humans.

Essay Topic 2

Using Chapter One as an informative text, write an essay on the early life of Albert Einstein. This essay must mark three important events of Einstein's life from 1879 to 1905. Be sure to elaborate on how these three details are connected to Einstein's future involvement in the scientific community.

Essay Topic 3

Hawking uses the word "deterministic" quite a bit in Chapter Four. Identify what determinism means in this context, and how it relates to the universe. Then, summarize and analyze the controversy over whether or not the universe is deterministic and what this might entail.

(see the answer keys)

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