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Astronomical Physics Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
Astronomical Physics Quizzes, Trivia

Astronomical Physics Trivia

Astronomical Physics Trivia Quizzes

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5 Astronomical Physics quizzes and 50 Astronomical Physics trivia questions.
  Dark Physics   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Some physicists seem obsessed with ... well...nothing - with empty, vacuous blackness and the things that arise from it. Enter the world of dark physics. And don't a-void the seemingly obvious answers. They're probably correct.
Average, 10 Qns, uglybird, Aug 08 20
Aug 08 20
7225 plays
  The Maths Behind Astronomy   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Astrophysics is a division of physics that attempts to quantify and develop algebraic relationships for our observations of the cosmos. I hope you enjoy!
Average, 10 Qns, jonnowales, Jan 31 10
2106 plays
  The Mystery of Dark Matter and Dark Energy   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Take a journey with me into the mysterious realm of dark matter and dark energy.
Average, 10 Qns, logikzer0, Sep 16 21
logikzer0 gold member
Sep 16 21
551 plays
  The Big Bang And Other "Quarks Of Fate"   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The "Big Bang" is one of several theories about how our universe began and how it continues to evolve. This quiz is based upon the best selling book by Professor Stephen W. Hawking: "A Brief History Of Time".
Average, 10 Qns, richicago, Feb 25 23
Feb 25 23
1852 plays
  What About the Real Big Bang Theory?   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
We've all heard of the hit television series "The Big Bang Theory". How much do you know about the real thing?
Average, 10 Qns, stredman, Dec 29 23
stredman gold member
Dec 29 23
365 plays

Astronomical Physics Trivia Questions

1. What was the name of the main competing theory about the origin of the cosmos before the 'Big Bang Theory' was generally accepted as the most plausible?

From Quiz
What About the Real Big Bang Theory?

Answer: The Steady State theory

Developed in the 1940s by Sir Fred Hoyle, Thomas Gold and Hermann Bondi, the Steady State theory (also known as Infinite Universe theory or continuous creation) states that the universe has no end and no beginning, and doesn't change its appearance over time. The theory started to lose favour in the 1960s with the discovery of distant quasars, which showed that the universe was very different a long time ago.

2. There is some debate as to the first scientist to theorize about dark matter. What are the names of the Dutch and Swiss scientists most often credited, one of whom had a famous cloud of comets named for him?

From Quiz The Mystery of Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Answer: Oort and Zwicky

Both Dutch astronomer Jan Oort and Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky observed anomalies in the apparent densities of matter in the solar system and Milky Way Galaxy. It was Zwicky who actually coined the term "dark matter."

3. The basis for the Big Bang theory was provided by the observations of this noted astronomer:

From Quiz The Big Bang And Other "Quarks Of Fate"

Answer: Edwin Hubble

In 1929, Hubble discovered that the universe was continuously expanding. This led to the idea that all matter in the universe was at one time a single solid mass.

4. According to the 'Big Bang Theory', approximately how long ago did our universe start as an infinitely small, hot, dense point?

From Quiz What About the Real Big Bang Theory?

Answer: 13.7 billion years ago

Because we can measure the rate at which the universe is expanding, we can calculate that moment in time when the universe was just a single point. Before the beginning of time, according to the 'Big Bang Theory' the entire universe existed as a singularity in a form smaller than a subatomic particle. Because all the mass in the universe was concentrated into one point, time was slowed to a standstill. In 2011 the Nobel prize was awarded to Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess for "the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae".

5. According to the Standard Model, the most widely accepted model of the Universe, what is the surprising percentage of dark matter and dark energy of the total content of the known Universe?

From Quiz The Mystery of Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Answer: 95.1%

Based on recent observations and calculations, normal matter only makes up 4.9% of the entire Universe. This has caused many scientists to rethink the Standard Model, and other theories of gravity have been proposed to try account for the observations without the need for additional matter.

6. Just at the moment of the "Big Bang", according to theory the universe was thought to be the size of:

From Quiz The Big Bang And Other "Quarks Of Fate"

Answer: Nothing but Pure Energy

No, not of any definite size at all, but infinitely hot. As the heat lessened, the energy became matter and expanded more and more. Hard to understand, but that's the theory of many, including the noted Professor Hawking.

7. Ever since the 'Big Bang', the universe has been expanding. But at what rate is this expansion?

From Quiz What About the Real Big Bang Theory?

Answer: An accelerating rate

Edwin Hubble observed the doppler shift when observing galaxies in the 1920s. He noted that the galaxies were coloured in the red end of the spectrum and that the further they were away from us the more they were shifted towards the red end of the spectrum. From this he deduced that the galaxies were accelerating away from us. The universe was expanding at a decreasing rate until about five billion years ago and then it began to expand at a faster rate.

8. Trying to determine what makes up for all the apparently missing mass in the Universe is a conundrum for scientists. What puny-sounding theoretical massive particles that only interact with the weak force and gravity are the leading candidates?

From Quiz The Mystery of Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Answer: WIMPs

WIMP stands for" weakly interacting massive particle", which is a highly descriptive name for the mass-containing particles that interact with very little in the universe. Scientists theorize that they may be similar to neutrinos, but much more massive, however, they have yet to be detected directly like neutrinos. It is theorized that WIMPs may interact with and/or be a product of vibrations in the newly discovered Higgs field.

9. A part of this Einstein theory is based on the idea that "The laws of science should be the same for all observers, no matter how they are moving".

From Quiz The Big Bang And Other "Quarks Of Fate"

Answer: General Relativity

Einstein never accepted the idea that the Universe was governed by chance and is quoted as having said "God does not play dice".

10. As with dark matter, dark energy is not directly observable, but must be theorized based on its interactions with other observable phenomena in the Universe. What observation is a major piece of evidence for the existence of dark energy?

From Quiz The Mystery of Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Answer: Rate of expansion of the universe

The rate of the expansion of the universe has been observed to be accelerating, which suggests that more energy must exist than we can directly observe. If only the observable energy is considered, models suggest that the universe should stop expanding and eventually contract into what is known as the "big crunch."

11. 'The Big Bang' created nearly equal amounts of matter and antimatter. How long before all the antimatter was wiped out?

From Quiz What About the Real Big Bang Theory?

Answer: One second

Since it was first predicted by physicist Paul Dirac in 1928, anti-matter has been the subject of much debate. When identical amounts of matter and anti-matter meet they annihilate each other completely. It is thought that there was a minute imbalance in the amount of matter and anti-matter (in favour of matter) which produced in the big bang and is why we exist.

12. Dark energy is now thought to permeate the entirety of space. What theoretical material that has a name reminiscent of a particular class of chemicals was postulated by Medieval scientists to be similarly ubiquitous throughout the heavens?

From Quiz The Mystery of Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Answer: Aether

Scientists in the industrial era dismissed the aether as a concept, however, the emergence of dark energy may prove that the Medieval scientists may have unwittingly been onto something.

13. According to the Theory Of Relativity, what makes a black hole black?

From Quiz The Big Bang And Other "Quarks Of Fate"

Answer: Gravity

Gravity is a potent force in the Theory Of Relativity. Primordial black holes were hypothesized to have occurred in the very early universe.

14. The first stable elements didn't appear until a few hundred thousand years after the 'Big Bang'. What elements were they?

From Quiz What About the Real Big Bang Theory?

Answer: Hydrogen and helium

When the universe first formed it was so hot that atomic nuclei could not form and any bonds formed would have been immediately blasted apart. After a few hundred thousand years the universe had cooled sufficiently to allow the simple bonds of hydrogen and helium to form. Hydrogen and helium still make up over 90% of the matter in the universe.

15. When a particle collides with its anti-particle, what is created?

From Quiz The Big Bang And Other "Quarks Of Fate"

Answer: Energy

When they collide they actually annihilate one another, creating energy in the process.

16. Thanks to two scientists of the night sky there exists a diagram which shows the period in stellar evolution that a star should be at due to their luminosity and temperature. What is the name of this diagram?

From Quiz The Maths Behind Astronomy

Answer: H-R Diagram

The H-R diagram is so named after the two scientists who came up with it - Dane, Ejnar Hertzsprung (H) and American, Henry Norris Russell (R). The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is a plot of the logarithm of luminosity against the logarithm of temperature. By noting that the luminosity of a star is 'L = (4)*(pi)*(R^2)*(sigma)*(T^4)', (R = radius, T = temperature, sigma = Stefan-Boltzmann constant), it is possible to determine the slope upon which stars of the same radius will lie by using the rules of logarithms: log(L) = 4*log(T) + 2*log(R) + log(4*pi*sigma) The important part of the above equation is 'log(L) = 4*log(T) + 2*log(R)' because this is in the form 'y = mx + c' which is the equation for a straight line. The slope here is four which means that for stars that are perfect radiators (blackbodies) and of the same radius, the stars will lie on a slope of 4 on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. An amendment must be made to take into account the fact that the log of temperature decreases as one goes further along the positive x-axis, so the slope is -4. This is just one example of the use of the H-R diagram in determining where stars are in the stellar evolutionary cycles in terms of their physical characteristics.

17. Through his observations in the 1920s Edwin Hubble observed a phenomenon called 'redshift', from which he deduced the universe was expanding. What is 'redshift'?

From Quiz What About the Real Big Bang Theory?

Answer: when the wavelength of light is stretched so that it 'shifts' towards the red part of the spectrum

In 1929 Edwin Hubble announced that the universe was expanding, and all galaxies were moving away from each other. He based his theory upon the fact that light from far away galaxies was shifted towards the red end of the spectrum and therefore they were accelerating away from us in all directions.

18. What is an event horizon?

From Quiz The Big Bang And Other "Quarks Of Fate"

Answer: The boundary of a black hole

Objects can fall through the event horizon into a black hole, but can never get out. It acts as a one-way membrane around the black hole.

19. The study of the universe as a whole is defined as:

From Quiz The Big Bang And Other "Quarks Of Fate"

Answer: Cosmology

The cosmological constant is a mathematical device used by Einstein to give space-time an inbuilt tendency to expand.

20. Protons and neutrons are composed of how many quarks each?

From Quiz The Big Bang And Other "Quarks Of Fate"

Answer: Three

A quark, according to Professor Hawking in his book is "A (charged) elementary particle that feels the strong nuclear force".

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