The Scientific Jargon Quiz
by Staff
Every science has its own vocabulary, and some of those words can sound like gibberish to those outside the scientific community. Take our quiz to see how many of these technical terms you can decipher.

What does "laser" stand for?

  • low aim standard emitting radar
  • light amplification by stimulated emission
  • Nothing — it’s named for its inventor.

Which of these is the measure of light's intensity?

  • optometry
  • spectroscopy
  • photometry

True or false: All heavy metals are toxic.

  • true
  • false

What do scientists mean when they say they will enhance something?

  • They will make it better.
  • They will make it clearer.
  • They will intensify or increase it.

Where can you find AMANDA?

  • South Pole
  • North Pole
  • Russia

True or false: Manipulation of data by scientists is unethical.

  • true
  • false

What are FROG and SPIDER?

  • expensive telescopes
  • really fast lasers
  • satellites built in Russia

What happens during piloerection?

  • Dough rises.
  • Your pillow gets flat.
  • Hair stands on end.

True or false: Scientists consider any positive trend to be good.

  • true
  • false

True or false: A carcinoma is something that causes cancer.

  • true
  • false

What is chemigation?

  • adding chemicals to irrigation water
  • using chemicals to fumigate homes
  • combining synthetic and natural chemicals to make new ones

What would you use a SHRIMP for?

  • dipping in cocktail sauce
  • abdominal surgery
  • dating rocks

True or false: GOMER is doctor-speak for "get out of my emergency room!"

  • true
  • false

True or false: A scientific scheme is simply a systematic plan.

  • true
  • false

True or false: Masers are older than lasers.

  • true
  • false

Which of the following is Latin for "broadly speaking"?

  • sensu stricto
  • sensu lato
  • sensu completo

What does SONAR stand for?

  • sound navigation and ranging
  • sound navigation amid radiation
  • sound navigation and radar

What is SODAR used to measure?

  • the ocean
  • land
  • wind

What are you suffering from if you have acute viral nasopharyngitis?

  • a cold
  • a bloody nose
  • a broken nose

What is a nebula, in layman's terms?

  • really bright star
  • space cloud
  • black hole

When something is canonical, it is …

  • a brand new theory
  • in line with accepted laws of science
  • explosive

What is a SQUID used to measure?

  • magnetic fields
  • distances to stars
  • intensity of light

True or false: Formication is a dirty word.

  • true
  • false

When scientists measure eccentricity, what are they studying?

  • people with strange habits
  • temperature anomalies
  • orbits of celestial bodies

True or false: LIDAR is the combination of light and radar.

  • true
  • false

If a doctor catheterizes someone, what are they doing?

  • stitching a wound
  • sticking in a tube
  • mercy killing

How many letters are in the chemical name for titin, a human protein?

  • 74
  • 1,098
  • almost 200,000

What was President Obama referring to when he used the word electrophoresis during a 2014 speech?

  • a new disease
  • a new energy source
  • a process used to separate molecules

True or false: Longer, more jargon-filled scientific abstracts are cited more than shorter ones.

  • true
  • false

What is the average reading level for an adult in the U.S.?

  • seventh grade
  • ninth grade
  • 11th grade