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

Charles Seife
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This quiz consists of 5 multiple choice and 5 short answer questions through Chapter 4.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Whom does the author claim the Greeks learned about astronomy from in Chapter 2, “Nothing Comes of Nothing”?
(a) The Romans.
(b) The Egyptians.
(c) The Mayans.
(d) The Babylonians.

2. Negative numbers first appeared where historically, according to the author in Chapter 3, “Nothing Ventured”?
(a) India and China.
(b) In Mayan and Native American cultures.
(c) Egypt and Babylonia.
(d) Europe and the Americas.

3. The Renaissance roughly spanned the period of what centuries?
(a) The 14th to the 17th Centuries.
(b) The 9th to the 14th Centuries.
(c) The 16th to the 19th Centuries.
(d) The 10th to the 12th Centuries.

4. What refers to a system of tribunals developed by the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church during the second half of the 16th Century?
(a) The Spanish Inquisition.
(b) The Medieval Inquisition.
(c) The Catalina Inquisition.
(d) The Roman Inquisition.

5. What word did the Arabs use for zero during Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi’s time?
(a) Sifr.
(b) Zephyr.
(c) Zeno.
(d) Siro.

Short Answer Questions

1. The author notes in Chapter 2, “Nothing Comes of Nothing” that the West resisted the concept of zero for how many years?

2. Pythagoreanism developed into two separate schools of thought. What group was called “the learners” in Greek?

3. Filippo Brunelleschi famously engineered the dome of what cathedral?

4. What word did the Indians use for zero during Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi’s time?

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

(see the answer key)

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