Let's Get Physical: The Physics Quiz
by Staff
Leptons, and atoms and bosons, oh my! New discoveries in physics happen so fast that even skilled scientists find it hard to keep up. See how much you know about famous physicists and theories old and new in this challenging yet fascinating field.

What is the speed of light?

  • 186,000 miles per second (299,338 kilometers per second)
  • 1.86 million miles per second
  • infinite

When did scientists first discover that light had a specific, measureable speed?

  • 17th century
  • 18th century
  • 19th century

Which of the following is NOT one of Newton's three laws of motion?

  • Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
  • An object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by a force.
  • At a given mass, the pressure times volume of a gas will stay constant as long as temperature does.

What do you call the building blocks that make up protons and neutrons?

  • squarks
  • quarks
  • quicks

Which of the following is Augustin-Jean Fresnel best remembered for?

  • his work in quantum mechanics
  • the discovery of the planet Neptune
  • the wave theory of light

What technology won the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901?

  • X-rays
  • nuclear fusion
  • radio

True or false: Electrons and neutrons make up the nucleus of an atom.

  • true
  • false

Which of the following is NOT one of the four fundamental forces in physics?

  • gravitational
  • acceleration
  • electromagnetism

What technological innovation is Guglielmo Marconi best known for?

  • television
  • telephone
  • radio

True or false: Absolute zero is equal to zero degrees Celsius.

  • true
  • false

What two measurements are captured by Boyle's law?

  • density and energy
  • pressure and volume
  • temperature and acceleration

Where can you find the world's largest particle accelerator?

  • Switzerland
  • United States
  • Russia

Which of these two measurements will allow you to easily determine the density of an object?

  • mass and temperature
  • mass and acceleration
  • mass and volume

True or false: Einstein theorized that space-time was curved, not flat.

  • true
  • false

What is the "c" in Einstein's famous equation, e=mc<sup>2</sup>?

  • speed of light
  • Planck's constant
  • acceleration

True or false: Contrary to rumor, Einstein was a child prodigy in math and science.

  • true
  • false

What is J. Robert Oppenheimer remembered for?

  • giving neutrinos their name
  • the atomic bomb
  • the discovery of numerous unknown stars

What happens during fission?

  • an atom divides in two
  • two atoms join as one
  • no one knows

True or false: An ion always has more electrons than protons.

  • true
  • false

What are Kelvins used to measure?

  • temperature
  • mass
  • density

What is gravity like inside a black hole?

  • nonexistent
  • incredibly strong
  • the same as it is outside of the black hole

Which of these particles always consists of three quarks?

  • meson
  • baryon
  • neutrino

Which of these consists of one quark and one antiquark?

  • meson
  • baryon
  • neutrino

Which of these is the best representation of Planck's constant?

  • energy equals mass times acceleration
  • energy equals pressure times density
  • energy times time equal action

True or false: The big bang took place 15 million years ago.

  • true
  • false

True or false: Normal matter makes up around 5 percent of the universe.

  • true
  • false

True or false: Quarks come in three different colors that you can see.

  • true
  • false

If you hold your hand up to the sun for a moment, how many neutrinos pass through?

  • none
  • just a few
  • billions

What is Stephen Hawking's main field of study?

  • cosmology
  • quantum mechanics
  • optics

How many dimensions exist in string theory?

  • four
  • six
  • 10