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

Charles Seife
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This quiz consists of 5 multiple choice and 5 short answer questions through Chapter 3.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. In what written work did Aristotle describe Zeno of Elea’s paradox of motion?
(a) Physics.
(b) Poetry.
(c) Mathematics.
(d) Theatre.

2. Any number multiplied by zero equals what?
(a) 1.
(b) 15.
(c) 0.
(d) -100.

3. According to the author in Chapter 2, “Nothing Comes of Nothing,” the Pythagorean view tied numbers to what?
(a) Chakras.
(b) Gods.
(c) Shapes.
(d) Words.

4. Where does the author say early medieval Jews took up residence and discovered that Aristotle’s aversion to zero contradicted Jewish theology in Chapter 3, “Nothing Ventured”?
(a) Ancient Egypt.
(b) Muslim Spain.
(c) Rome.
(d) South America.

5. How many minutes made up an hour in the ancient Greek system?
(a) 60.
(b) 50.
(c) 30.
(d) 100.

Short Answer Questions

1. What branch of mathematics are the ancient Egyptians credited with creating in order to successfully build objects to block the flooding of the Nile River each year?

2. The ancient Babylonians are credited with the creation of what calculation tool?

3. What work by Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi presented the first systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations in Arabic?

4. The author states in Chapter 2, “Nothing Comes of Nothing” that the concepts of infinity and the void frightened the ancient Greeks. They feared the infinite because it threatened the possibility of what?

5. What does the author refer to as “zero’s twin” in the book?

(see the answer key)

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