Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea Test | Final Test - Easy

Charles Seife
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Johannes Kepler used calculus to determine that planets had what, according to the author in Chapter 5, “Infinite Zeros and Infidel Mathematicians”?
(a) Circular movement.
(b) Movement.
(c) Circular orbits.
(d) Elliptical orbits.

2. Lord Kelvin is well known for determining the correct value of absolute zero. Absolute zero is approximately what temperature Celsius?
(a) -125.32 degrees.
(b) -59 degrees.
(c) -32 degrees.
(d) -273.15 degrees.

3. When did Sir Isaac Newton live?
(a) 1642-1727.
(b) 1559-1601.
(c) 1624-1680.
(d) 1707-1746.

4. According to the author in Chapter 7, “Absolute Zeros,” Max Planck came up with a new equation that solved the ultraviolet catastrophe but implied that energy was released in discrete packets that have come to be called what?
(a) Quanta.
(b) Strings.
(c) Derivatives.
(d) Photons.

5. 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 Golden Ratio.
(b) A black hole.
(c) The ultraviolet catastrophe.
(d) The Pythagorean Theorem.

6. According to the author in Chapter 7, “Absolute Zeros,” thermodynamics led physicists to believe that light was not a particle but what?
(a) An electron.
(b) A proton.
(c) An electromagnetic wave.
(d) A vibrating string.

7. When was Lord Kelvin born?
(a) 1898.
(b) 1915.
(c) 1798.
(d) 1824.

8. What kind of stars did the Hubble space telescope use to measure the size of the universe?
(a) Cepheid stars.
(b) White dwarfs.
(c) RR Lyrae stars.
(d) Hypergiant stars.

9. The author asserts in Chapter 8, “Zero Hour at Ground Zero” that today astronomers estimate the universe as being how old?
(a) 4 billion years.
(b) 15 billion years.
(c) 10 billion years.
(d) 2 billion years.

10. An electron has what kind of electric charge?
(a) Degenerative.
(b) Neutral.
(c) Positive.
(d) Negative.

11. According to the author in Chapter 5, “Infinite Zeros and Infidel Mathematicians,” Leibniz wanted to use infinitesimals in calculus which were termed what?
(a) “ö.”
(b) “∞.”
(c) “dx.”
(d) “mi.”

12. According to the author in Chapter 6, “Infinity's Twin,” “i” appears whenever one takes the square root of what?
(a) A negative number.
(b) Infinity.
(c) Zero.
(d) A fraction.

13. What term refers to an elementary particle, the quantum of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation?
(a) Nucleus.
(b) Photon.
(c) Radon.
(d) Electron.

14. The author says in Chapter 6, “Infinity’s Twin” that by employing the concept of infinity, Johannes Kepler showed that ellipses and what were the same?
(a) Parabolas.
(b) Limits.
(c) Derivatives.
(d) Tangents.

15. What term refers to a physical constant that is the quantum of action in quantum mechanics?
(a) M-Theory.
(b) The Pythagorean theorem.
(c) The Planck constant.
(d) The Golden Ratio.

Short Answer Questions

1. When was Jean le Rond d'Alembert born?

2. What term in theoretical physics refers to an extension of string theory in which 11 dimensions of spacetime are identified?

3. The author suggests in Chapter 8, “Zero Hour at Ground Zero” that zero might spawn universes through a froth of what?

4. The Leibniz–Newton calculus controversy was an argument between Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz over what?

5. In physics or chemistry, what term refers to particles that are smaller than an atom?

(see the answer keys)

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