Quiz about Fun with Famous Scientists
Quiz about Fun with Famous Scientists

Fun with Famous Scientists Trivia Quiz


Intended for laypersons. A light quiz on the discoveries of famous scientists, moderately easy but varied. One answer from each question is for fun only. Enjoy!

A multiple-choice quiz by dr_vitz. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
dr_vitz
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
8,938
Updated
Nov 20 22
# Qns
20
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
13 / 20
Plays
5878
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 99 (13/20), Guest 1 (8/20), Guest 174 (13/20).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Which is the best phrase that explains Albert Einstein's famous equation regarding relativity, 'E equals m times c squared'? Hint

time is money
light is energy
mass is energy
energy is a wave

2. Roger Bacon is often called the 'Father of Modern Science' for what reason? Hint

he wrote down his experiments
he discovered the law of gravity
he measured the amounts of chemicals that he used
he was the first to wear a pocket protector

3. In 1242 A.D., Roger Bacon discovered that black powder (gunpowder) would explode rather than simply burn if he did what? Hint

heated it slowly
sang 'Over the Rainbow'
placed it in a vacuum
confined it in a small space

4. The Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel is most famous today for creating the Nobel Prize. What invention made him rich? Hint

spam
stainless steel
dynamite
dry ice

5. In 1828, Friedrich Woehler performed the first chemical synthesis of a naturally occurring biologic (organic) molecule. What did he synthesize? Hint

alanine, an amino acid
urea, a waste product
glucose, a sugar
Cheez-Wiz, a delicious snack

6. In 1660, Robert Boyle discovered what revolutionary finding about gases? Hint

the volume of a gas varies inversely with pressure
all gases can be cooled to form a liquid
gases are composed of atoms
you can light a fart with a match

7. The 19th century Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev arranged cards that described all known chemical elements into what? Hint

the Periodic Table of the Elements
four quantum states
acid - base pairs
the words 'I hate borscht'

8. The German scientist Max Planck was the first to suggest that classical laws of physics did not always apply to atomic systems. By studying light of different frequencies, he proposed the existence of quanta that carried discrete but small amounts of what? Hint

energy
randomness
color
passengers between Australia and the USA

9. Around 300 B.C.E., Theophrastus, one of Aristotle's students, first described asbestos as 'a substance resembling rotting wood which, when doused with oil, would burn without being harmed.' Where does asbestos come from? Hint

glass fibers molded by heat
mines
a plant
the hairs of fire-resistant salamanders

10. At the end of the 19th century, Fritz Haber first synthesized ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen. This was important to the world population because: Hint

It allowed the production of synthetic fertilizers
it became a way of removing toxic nitrogen from the air
It led directly to the development of plastics
their windows were dirty

11. In 1775, Benjamin Franklin traveled from England to America on a sailing ship. He measured the temperature of the water with a thermometer at many points during the voyage and thus discovered a region of warm water due to what? Hint

shallow water
sailors urinating off the bow
thermal vents
the Gulf Stream

12. The Scottish botanist Robert Brown first observed the process now known as Brownian movement in 1827. What is it? Hint

the motion of small particles due to random collisions with solvent molecules
the movement of leaves to follow the daily sun cycle
the movement of electrons in an elliptical orbit around a nucleus
the last thing you do before you flush

13. In 1858, Charles Darwin proposed what theory to explain the diversity of living things on earth? Hint

the theory of alien insemination
the theory of acquired characteristics
the theory of natural selection
the theory of DNA mutagenesis

14. In 1803, John Dalton proposed that all substances are composed of small, dense, indestructible particles known as what? Hint

tic-tacs
molecules
atoms
Daltons

15. From carefully weighing the reactants and products of chemical reactions, the 18th century French chemist Antoine Lavoisier laid the groundwork for what fundamental scientific principle? Hint

law of multiple proportions
conservation of mass
reactive equilibrium
he who smelt it dealt it

16. In 1932, James Chadwick discovered what subatomic particle that contains mass but no charge? Hint

the dead battery
the alpha particle
the neutron
the beta particle

17. Galileo's famous experiment at the leaning tower of Pisa demonstrated what about gravity? Hint

acceleration is independent of mass
gravity is independent of other forces
velocity is dependent on mass
what goes up must come down

18. The 'two body problem' was first solved by: Hint

Leibnitz
Newton
Einstein
Adam and Eve

19. Why was Galileo excommunicated from the Catholic Church? Hint

He denied the existence of God
He insisted on referring to the holy sacrament as 'the little wafer'
He refused to comply with a papal decree
He said that the earth moves round the sun

20. Werner Heisenberg enunciated his 'uncertainty principle' in 1927. It states that: Hint

The velocity of an electron is determined by its position
The position and velocity of an electron cannot both be precisely determined
Entropy always increases
If you think your spouse might be cheating on you, you are probably right.


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which is the best phrase that explains Albert Einstein's famous equation regarding relativity, 'E equals m times c squared'?

Answer: mass is energy

Literally, energy (E) is mass (m) multiplied by a constant (the speed of light squared). Relativity relies on the concept that the speed of light is the same in all reference frames.

The equation, which means "energy equals mass times the speed of light squared", shows that energy (E) and mass (m) are interchangeable; they are different forms of the same thing.
2. Roger Bacon is often called the 'Father of Modern Science' for what reason?

Answer: he wrote down his experiments

Recordkeeping remains the most important aspect of science. This allows others to examine, repeat, and build on what others have done.
3. In 1242 A.D., Roger Bacon discovered that black powder (gunpowder) would explode rather than simply burn if he did what?

Answer: confined it in a small space

Gunpowder burns when its solid components turn to gas in a chemical reaction. If the gas is confined, it will result in an explosion.
4. The Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel is most famous today for creating the Nobel Prize. What invention made him rich?

Answer: dynamite

Nobel's discoveries harnessed the power of high explosives for use in industry and war. He was also a pacifist and so named the Nobel Peace Prize using the income he had earned as an industrialist.
5. In 1828, Friedrich Woehler performed the first chemical synthesis of a naturally occurring biologic (organic) molecule. What did he synthesize?

Answer: urea, a waste product

Before this, most scientists believed that biological chemicals could not be synthesized. With the synthesis of urea, organic chemistry was born.
6. In 1660, Robert Boyle discovered what revolutionary finding about gases?

Answer: the volume of a gas varies inversely with pressure

Although all of the answers above are more or less true, Boyle only discovered the volume - pressure relationship. Later, the combined gas law 'PV=nRT' was discovered.
7. The 19th century Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev arranged cards that described all known chemical elements into what?

Answer: the Periodic Table of the Elements

The recognition of a pattern to the properties of chemical elements correctly predicted the existence of many yet undiscovered elements.
8. The German scientist Max Planck was the first to suggest that classical laws of physics did not always apply to atomic systems. By studying light of different frequencies, he proposed the existence of quanta that carried discrete but small amounts of what?

Answer: energy

His revolutionary equation E=Hv (read v as 'nu') marked the birth of quantum physics. Quantum is the singular of quanta.
9. Around 300 B.C.E., Theophrastus, one of Aristotle's students, first described asbestos as 'a substance resembling rotting wood which, when doused with oil, would burn without being harmed.' Where does asbestos come from?

Answer: mines

Asbestos was first mined by the ancient Greeks, until their mines ran dry. Medieval alchemists actually thought fire-resistant salamanders were the source, giving rise to an alternate name, 'salamandra.'
10. At the end of the 19th century, Fritz Haber first synthesized ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen. This was important to the world population because:

Answer: It allowed the production of synthetic fertilizers

Nitrogen fertilizers have made possible a the dramatic increase in population density observed worldwide over the 20th century. Approximately one third of the protein in the world's diet currently relies on synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.
11. In 1775, Benjamin Franklin traveled from England to America on a sailing ship. He measured the temperature of the water with a thermometer at many points during the voyage and thus discovered a region of warm water due to what?

Answer: the Gulf Stream

During this trip, he made the first map of the Gulf Stream, an ocean current that had confused sailors for many years.
12. The Scottish botanist Robert Brown first observed the process now known as Brownian movement in 1827. What is it?

Answer: the motion of small particles due to random collisions with solvent molecules

Just one of the many new things seen under the microscope around this time.
13. In 1858, Charles Darwin proposed what theory to explain the diversity of living things on earth?

Answer: the theory of natural selection

This scientifically verified principle is the basis of evolution. The importance of DNA would not be discovered for almost a century.
14. In 1803, John Dalton proposed that all substances are composed of small, dense, indestructible particles known as what?

Answer: atoms

The existence of atoms had been discussed philosophically by ancient Greeks, but Dalton's theory took scientific facts into account.
15. From carefully weighing the reactants and products of chemical reactions, the 18th century French chemist Antoine Lavoisier laid the groundwork for what fundamental scientific principle?

Answer: conservation of mass

Lavoisier was executed by guillotine, a tragedy of the French revolution. The mathematician Joseph Lagrange said of his death, 'It required only a moment to sever that head, and perhaps a century will not be sufficient to produce another like it.'
16. In 1932, James Chadwick discovered what subatomic particle that contains mass but no charge?

Answer: the neutron

17. Galileo's famous experiment at the leaning tower of Pisa demonstrated what about gravity?

Answer: acceleration is independent of mass

Prior to Galileo, it was believed that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones.
18. The 'two body problem' was first solved by:

Answer: Newton

Newton used his new tool of calculus to derive and solve the equation describing the orbit of one body around another.
19. Why was Galileo excommunicated from the Catholic Church?

Answer: He said that the earth moves round the sun

At the time this was the standard Catholic view ... The Church finally pardoned Galileo in 1992.
20. Werner Heisenberg enunciated his 'uncertainty principle' in 1927. It states that:

Answer: The position and velocity of an electron cannot both be precisely determined

Source: Author dr_vitz

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