Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea Quiz | Four Week Quiz B

Charles Seife
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This quiz consists of 5 multiple choice and 5 short answer questions through Chapter 8.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. The Rayleigh–Jeans law agrees with experimental results at large wavelengths but strongly disagrees at short wavelengths. What is this inconsistency known as?
(a) The Pythagorean Theorem.
(b) The Golden Ratio.
(c) The ultraviolet catastrophe.
(d) A black hole.

2. What region in the Middle East is widely considered to be the cradle of civilization?
(a) The Twin Towers.
(b) The Mayan Region.
(c) The Fertile Crescent.
(d) The Nile Region.

3. What work by Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi presented the first systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations in Arabic?
(a) Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing.
(b) A book of Annals.
(c) The Death of the Prophet.
(d) An Index of Arabic Books.

4. What is the study of geometric properties that are invariant under projective transformations?
(a) Projective geometry.
(b) General relativity.
(c) Projective algebra.
(d) Classical relativity.

5. How is zero represented in Roman numerals?
(a) I.
(b) C.
(c) It is not represented.
(d) X.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to the author in Chapter 5, “Infinite Zeros and Infidel Mathematicians,” Jean le Rond d'Alembert had satisfied the mathematician's need for what?

2. The House of Wisdom was based in Baghdad during what centuries?

3. What refers to the geometric theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1916 and the current description of gravitation in modern physics?

4. The word “Renaissance” derives from what meaning?

5. The operation of finding the area under a curve is now called what, according to the author in Chapter 5, “Infinite Zeros and Infidel Mathematicians”?

(see the answer key)

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