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Quiz about Physics Is So Cool
Quiz about Physics Is So Cool

Physics Is So Cool! Trivia Quiz

Physics is a cool science designed to help us understand how the universe works. See how many of these physical theories and terms you remember from physics class or possibly learn something new! Good luck!

A matching quiz by BigTriviaDawg. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
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Quiz #
Apr 06 23
# Qns
Avg Score
7 / 10
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 97 (6/10), Guest 87 (0/10), Guest 202 (10/10).
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle  
  More and more random by the minute!
2. Alpha particle  
  Red shift
3. Entropy  
  Luminosity vs. effective Temperature
4. Pauli exclusion principle  
  Spooky action at a distance
5. Doppler effect  
  Position or motion? You can't have both!
6. Quantum entanglement  
  Light is electromagnetic
7. Maxwell's equations  
  Antimatter vs matter
8. Hertzsprung-Russell diagram  
  Helium nucleus
9. CPT symmetry  
  Electron spin orbitals s,p,d,f...
10. Fleming's Left-Hand Rule  
  Electrical motor motion

Select each answer

1. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle
2. Alpha particle
3. Entropy
4. Pauli exclusion principle
5. Doppler effect
6. Quantum entanglement
7. Maxwell's equations
8. Hertzsprung-Russell diagram
9. CPT symmetry
10. Fleming's Left-Hand Rule

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle

Answer: Position or motion? You can't have both!

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states that in order to know more about the position of a particle, you lose information on its momentum, meaning you can not know both the position and momentum of a particle. Current theories in quantum mechanics suggest the resulting uncertainty happens because matter is both particle and wave simultaneously.

This duality can be observed through the famous Double Slit Experiment, where a single photon is fired and, as a wave, passes through both slits simultaneously thus interfering with itself, before collapsing into a discrete particle on the detector behind. Over the years, some, including Heisenberg, have suggested the simple act of observing will change the behavior of the particle, but the reality is the equipment used to "observe" has more of an effect on the particle than the actual observation itself.
2. Alpha particle

Answer: Helium nucleus

An alpha particle is a helium-4 nucleus containing two protons and two neutrons. Also called alpha radiation, the particle is usually emitted from an unstable element, bringing said element into a more stable state. A good example of such an element is Uranium-92 with an atomic mass of 238, which decays to thorium-90 with an atomic mass of 234, AND a helium-2 nucleus with an atomic mass of 4.

In addition to the Alpha particle itself, Alpha decay also releases a large amount of energy mostly in the form of exit momentum of the newly formed helium nucleus. Think about a champagne cork popping off a bottle.
3. Entropy

Answer: More and more random by the minute!

Entropy is a measurement of the amount of disorder or randomness in a system. As systems move towards states where spontaneous change becomes less likely the entropy of the system increases.

The second law of thermodynamics states that, on a universal scale, entropy can either remain constant or increase but never decrease. If this were to be followed to its ultimate conclusion, then one day the universe will end up completely dead at absolute zero. A rather chilly thought, no?
4. Pauli exclusion principle

Answer: Electron spin orbitals s,p,d,f...

Wolfgang Pauli proposed that since electrons have a half spin, they must have another electron with an opposite spin to share an orbital. This shell structure helps answer many of the questions about the predicted stability of the elements. For example, a helium atom has two electrons in the 1S orbital, making the atom incredibly stable, while the next element, lithium, has a third electron by itself in an open 2S shell making it very volatile.

As elements get heavier, further shells get filled, with the p orbital being next, with room for six electrons between three shells. In the case of oxygen, all four of the "s" orbital spots are filled and four of the "p" orbitals are filled leaving two empty slots. This configuration allows for oxygen to form two bonds with hydrogen (which has one empty shell) to form water: H2O.
5. Doppler effect

Answer: Red shift

The Doppler effect is the observation that objects moving toward each other will have a higher frequency of sound or light than objects moving away from each other. An easy example of this is an emergency vehicle siren that sounds higher pitched as it approaches you from the other side of the road, but once it passes you the sound gets lower in pitch.

This phenomenon can also be seen when observing distant stars, with those traveling towards you being blue-shifted in color and those moving away being red-shifted. Since almost all stars are red-shifted, and thus moving away from us, Edwin Hubble concluded that the universe is constantly expanding, which will eventually leave our galaxy all alone. On the bright side, since this expansion is happening everywhere, technically speaking, everybody is the center of the universe!
6. Quantum entanglement

Answer: Spooky action at a distance

Quantum entanglement is so cool that Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance". Two entangled particles will have opposite spin from each other. However, due to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, both states are in constant fluctuation until one of them is observed. Once this occurs, the other particle's opposite spin can be immediately deduced regardless of how far away the particles are from each other.

Quantum entanglement will likely be an important property of computers of the future, as it allows there to be more than just two binary states. In application, this would mean a quantum computer could be thousands of times faster than a traditional computer for certain problem solving tasks.
7. Maxwell's equations

Answer: Light is electromagnetic

Maxwell's four equations on electromagnetics show the relationship between the previously separate electric and magnetic fields. Based on Maxwell's findings, light is just a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The entire spectrum travels at the same speed, what we call light speed. The frequency of the wave determines where on the electromagnetic spectrum it lies as well as how much energy is contained in the wave when added to the magnitude.

Faraday's law (Maxwell's 3rd equation) states that changing a magnetic field will give off an electric field, like how generators work. Ampere-Maxwell's law (Maxwell's 4th) states that changing an electric field will produce a magnetic field, like in motors.
8. Hertzsprung-Russell diagram

Answer: Luminosity vs. effective Temperature

A Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is a tool to determine the properties of distant stars. The chart's two axes are luminosity and effective temperature. On the H-R diagram, stars with greater luminosity will be towards the top of the diagram and stars with the highest temperature will be towards the left.

Luminosity is the amount of electromagnetic energy a star gives off in a given period. Luminosity is measured by taking the brightness of a star and multiplying it by its distance squared. Temperature can be calculated by using two different filters and then measuring a star's brightness. A star brighter in the blue range is hotter than a star that is brighter in the red range.
9. CPT symmetry

Answer: Antimatter vs matter

CPT (Charge Parity Time) Symmetry states that any particles in a system that moves forward in time will have the same laws as a system made of antiparticles moving backward in time. This means that every particle has a mirror image anti-particle that moves back in time as the matter particle moves forwards. There are three components to CPT symmetry, with the first being Charge (C), which states that every particle has an oppositely charged antiparticle.

For example, the electron has a positron as its antiparticle, whose charge is swapped from positive to negative. The second component is Parity (P) which states that every change in the state of a particle is mirrored in its antiparticle. The third is Time-Reversal (T) which states that the laws of physics will happen the same way regardless of if time is run forwards or backward. While individual measurements of just two of the components may not be symmetrical, when the third component is added to the system the whole must be symmetrical.
10. Fleming's Left-Hand Rule

Answer: Electrical motor motion

Fleming's Left Hand Rule is a useful visual tool to show which direction motion will go when current in a wire encounters a magnetic field. The three variables of Mechanical force, magnetic field, and electric current have to be perpendicular to each other.

In Fleming's Left Hand Rule if you point the index finger forward to represent the magnetic field and take the middle finger and make a 90-degree angle with the pointer finger you will show the direction of the current. Finally, holding the thumb straight up will show the direction of motion.

Not to leave the right hand out, Fleming's Right Hand Rule helps illustrate the direction of induced current for a generator with the same fingers representing the same variables.
Source: Author BigTriviaDawg

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