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. What principle holds that there is an inverse relation between the fineness with which a particular's location can be determined and the fineness with which its velocity can be determined?
(a) The Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
(b) The Planck constant.
(c) The Golden Ratio.
(d) The Pythagorean Theorem.

2. The Rayleigh–Jeans law revealed an important error in physics theory of its time. The law predicted an energy output that diverges towards infinity as wavelength approaches what?
(a) The sun.
(b) Zero.
(c) Pi.
(d) One.

3. What term refers to a branch of pure mathematics devoted primarily to the study of the integers?
(a) Classical physics.
(b) Algebra.
(c) Number theory.
(d) Geometry.

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

5. 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) Derivatives.
(c) Tangents.
(d) Limits.

6. In what year did Albert Einstein publish a paper that explained experimental data from the photoelectric effect, leading to the quantum revolution?
(a) 1926.
(b) 1942.
(c) 1905.
(d) 1918.

7. The name “electron” was introduced in 1891 by what Irish physicist?
(a) George Johnstone Stoney.
(b) Sir Isaac Newton.
(c) Albert Einstein.
(d) Galileo Galilei.

8. During what years did Georg Cantor live?
(a) 1845-1918.
(b) 1811-1878.
(c) 1777-1836.
(d) 1689-1759.

9. What mathematical term refers to a function giving an exact pairing of the elements of two sets?
(a) Injection.
(b) Bijection.
(c) Infinity.
(d) Derivation.

10. In what year was Albert Einstein awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his “discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”?
(a) 1927.
(b) 1945.
(c) 1921.
(d) 1911.

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

12. In Chapter 8, “Zero Hour at Ground Zero,” the author states that the Hubble telescope saw that most galaxies were flying away from one another by using red-shifting and blue-shifting effects, the cosmological equivalent of what?
(a) The differential effect.
(b) The Heisenberg effect.
(c) The radon effect.
(d) The Doppler effect.

13. Approximately when did Johannes Kepler live?
(a) 1571-1630.
(b) 1611-1669.
(c) 1501-1559.
(d) 1489-1550.

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

15. Bosonic string theory was developed in what decade?
(a) 1950s.
(b) 1960s.
(c) 1980s.
(d) 1890s.

Short Answer Questions

1. What term refers to numbers that are "infinite" in the sense that they are larger than all finite numbers, yet not necessarily absolutely infinite?

2. When was Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica first published?

3. How is the Planck relation expressed?

4. 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?

5. When did Sir Isaac Newton live?

(see the answer keys)

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