Name That Scientific Law -- and the Big Brain Behind It
by Staff
Chances are you've heard of many of the scientific laws we're about to mention, along with the geniuses behind them. The question is, can you put the two together?

While no one is certain it plunked him on the head, what universal law supposedly came to Isaac Newton after observing a falling apple?

  • law of universal mass
  • law of universal gravitation
  • law of universal heavy fruit

Newton also got some serious street cred with his three laws of motion. Which of these is NOT a law Newton discovered?

  • An object in motion stays in motion, traveling in a straight line, unless acted upon by an outside force. Likewise, an object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.
  • Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
  • The only way to go is up.

Last Newton question. He had a long-running feud with which scientist who discovered the law of elasticity?

  • Dr. Leo Spaceman
  • Niels Bohr
  • Robert Hooke

Speaking of random, what scientist discovered three important scientific laws but also believed that the appearance of a 1604 nova was a sign that Native Americans needed to convert to Christianity?

  • Edmond Halley
  • Johannes Kepler
  • Edwin Hubble

OK, so Kepler discovered three important laws. Which one did he NOT chance upon?

  • Planets move in an elliptical orbit, with the sun as one focus.
  • Humans require both eyes for depth perception.
  • A line that connects a planet to the sun sweeps out equal areas in equal intervals.

Although there's a woeful lack of female representation in the discovery of scientific laws, which scientist's work (and intriguing death!) inspired Sophie Germain (1776-1831) to become a preeminent mathematician of her time?

  • Carl Gauss
  • Euclid
  • Archimedes

Archimedes is well-known for yelling out "Eureka!" upon one of his major discoveries. Which one made him (supposedly) shout the phrase?

  • buoyancy principle
  • law of density
  • theory of mass

John Dalton lent his name to "Daltonism," the red-green color blindness he studied (which impaired his own vision). His eponymous law, however, deals with which physical state of matter?

  • solid
  • gas
  • liquid

Robert Boyle invented the litmus test to tell acids from bases, which is cool enough. But he also defined Boyle's law. What does it state?

  • The pressure exerted by a gas held at a constant temperature varies inversely with the volume of the gas. Basically, less volume = greater pressure and vice versa.
  • If something tastes sour, it's probably a base.
  • If you drop some food on the floor, you have 10 seconds to pick it up and eat it before it's considered unsanitary.

These scientists are such overachievers. Which one not only defined the law of viscosity but also came up with the word fluorescence, after the mineral fluorite?

  • Robert Hooke
  • Albert Einstein
  • George Stokes

Which scientist with a thirst-quenching name wrote the law that investigated the relationship between the absorbance of a solution and the concentration of dissolved solute?

  • Gerald Sprite
  • August Beer
  • Sarah Springwater

Mr. Adolf E. Fick stated a law of diffusion: The steeper the concentration gradient, the greater the net flux of material by diffusion. What now-common item did he also create an early iteration of?

  • contact lenses
  • nail polish remover
  • none of the above

Sure, we all know Darwin gave us the theory of evolution by way of natural selection. But Darwin wasn't exactly in love with all of the biological world. Which part did he dislike?

  • birds
  • blood
  • chunky peanut butter

This mathematician was such a wunderkind that he earned the title "prince of mathematics." He also defined a law in physics that relates to electric field and charge. Who was it?

  • Archimedes
  • Lysistrata
  • Carl Friedrich Gauss

Einstein is known for many different theories and scientific laws. Which one of these is NOT Einstein's work?

  • general theory of relativity
  • special theory of relativity
  • very special theory of relativity

Here's another easy one. What Nobel-prize-winning physicist defined the uncertainty principle?

  • Albert Einstein
  • Niels Bohr
  • Werner Heisenberg

This scientist's name conjures up images of space. He also has a law AND a telescope named after him.

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Edwin Hubble

Daniel Bernoulli wrote his dissertation about the mechanics of breathing. Later on he developed his famous eponymous principle. What does it deal with?

  • fluid dynamics
  • quasars
  • stink bugs

The mathematician who defined the law of refraction also lent his name to another term, which describes the angle where a fish can see a person on the bank. (The phenomenon is determined by refraction). Who's the mathematician?

  • Isaac Newton
  • Srinivasa Ramanujan
  • Willebrord Snell

Amedeo Avogadro defined a blessedly simple law that said what?

  • Equal volumes of any two gas contain the same numbers of molecules (assuming the same temperature and pressure, of course).
  • Anything that can go wrong will.
  • The number of breaths you take is in direct proportion to how alive you are.