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

Charles Seife
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

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

2. According to the author in Chapter 7, “Absolute Zeros,” thermodynamics have taught us that there are many things we cannot do, such as building what?
(a) A lunar calendar.
(b) An adequate polarizing system.
(c) A solar calendar.
(d) A perpetual motion machine.

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

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Johannes Kepler used calculus to determine that planets had what, according to the author in Chapter 5, “Infinite Zeros and Infidel Mathematicians”?

2. Absolute zero has no energy and is unattainable for what reason?

3. 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?

4. According to the author in Chapter 8, “Zero Hour at Ground Zero,” the universe may collapse under its own gravity or what?

5. According to the author in Chapter 8, “Zero Hour at Ground Zero,” some physicists think the merging of a particle and a black hole creates a tachyon or a particle with imaginary mass that could do what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who created calculus? How did calculus differ from the other mathematical fields, according to the author in Chapter 5, “Infinite Zeros and Infidel Mathematicians”?

2. What discovery did Georg Cantor make regarding different types of infinities? How are these types defined?

3. What was discovered by Albert Einstein’s solution to the photoelectric effect?

4. What problem does zero present when calculating tangent lines? What is a tangent?

5. What discovery did Friedrich Riemann make in the field of projective geometry?

6. How did Max Planck address the problem of the ultraviolet catastrophe?

7. How does the elimination of zero help general relativity theory, according to the author in Chapter 8, “Zero Hour at Ground Zero”?

8. What does the author say thermodynamics has taught us in Chapter 7, “Absolute Zeros”?

9. How were Georg Cantor’s mathematical principles applied to his theology? Who disagreed with his vision and why?

10. What is expressed through the Rayleigh-Jeans law? How does this law relate to zero?

(see the answer keys)

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