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Quiz about Famous Lightbulb Moments
Quiz about Famous Lightbulb Moments

Famous Lightbulb Moments Trivia Quiz


This quiz will illustrate how serendipity plays a role in scientific discovery and invention. It will discuss the "Wow" moment when the light bulb went on for the inventor/discoverer and the world was a better place for it.

A multiple-choice quiz by pdk42. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
pdk42
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
360,393
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
1362
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 64 (9/10), Guest 67 (9/10), sue124012 (6/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Perhaps the most famous example of a light bulb moment was when a famous scientist was sitting in his garden and noticed an apple falling from a tree. "Why does an apple fall down instead of falling up?" he thought. This led to the universal law of gravity. Who was the scientist? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. While doing research on radar, Percy Spencer noticed that the electromagnetic waves emitted melted the candy bar in his pocket. Instead of getting irritated at the mess of a melted candy bar inside his pocket, Percy patented what household device in 1945? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. In the 1960s , Penzias and Wilson were working on sensitive radio telescopes that were to be used for communicating with satellites. When they pointed their telescope into space they picked up "background noise" which is now known to be evidence for what? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. In 1903, Edouard Benedictus dropped a glass flask that failed to break into many pieces. The reason why this occurred was a coating of cellulose nitrate in the flask. This led to the invention of what piece of safety equipment that has saved thousands of lives since? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Dairymaids who handled the udders of infected cows contracted a disease called cowpox. Edward Jenner (an English physician) in 1796 realised that when people had contracted this disease, they were spared contracting a much more fatal disease. This led to vaccinations against which fatal disease in humans? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. August Kekulé had been working on trying to discover the structure of a certain chemical. Whilst daydreaming, he saw atoms dancing in front of his eyes. These then morphed into snakes. When one grabbed its own tail, he realised that the structure of the chemical that had been eluding him was a ring. What chemical's atomic structure did Kekulé discover? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Sildenafil was being investigated as a possible medication to treat hypertension and angina. A number of participants in the medical trials reported a side effect to the medication that led to Pfizer marketing which drug? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Another medical example of serendipity: This involved a contaminated petri dish and the mould "Penicillium" that was killing the bacteria that was being studied. This poor hygiene during scientific studies led to the development of Penicillin. Who was the discoverer? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Whilst working with gases to be used as refrigerants, Dr Roy Plunkett found a substance that was extremely slippery. What did he discover? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Whilst, each of these "light bulb" moments were fortuitous, this was only the start of the work. Who said: "Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety nine per cent perspiration"? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jun 01 2024 : Guest 64: 9/10
May 28 2024 : Guest 67: 9/10
May 27 2024 : sue124012: 6/10
May 22 2024 : Guest 103: 6/10
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May 19 2024 : Guest 175: 8/10
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May 04 2024 : Guest 136: 9/10
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Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Perhaps the most famous example of a light bulb moment was when a famous scientist was sitting in his garden and noticed an apple falling from a tree. "Why does an apple fall down instead of falling up?" he thought. This led to the universal law of gravity. Who was the scientist?

Answer: Isaac Newton

When this event occurred Newton was at home instead of at university since the university had shut due to an outbreak of bubonic plague. Whilst the apple was the inspiration, it took Newton another twenty years before he published his theory of gravity.
2. While doing research on radar, Percy Spencer noticed that the electromagnetic waves emitted melted the candy bar in his pocket. Instead of getting irritated at the mess of a melted candy bar inside his pocket, Percy patented what household device in 1945?

Answer: Microwave oven

The first microwave was almost 1.8 metres tall, weighed 340 kilograms and cost about US $5000 in 1947. It wasn't until the 1960s that it became commercially viable. An alternative explanation for the invention of the microwave is that they were brought to earth by aliens. This second explanation was provided in "Men in Black" (1997).
3. In the 1960s , Penzias and Wilson were working on sensitive radio telescopes that were to be used for communicating with satellites. When they pointed their telescope into space they picked up "background noise" which is now known to be evidence for what?

Answer: The big bang

In 1948, two theoretical physicists (Alpher and Herman) had predicted that there would be background radiation present if the big bang theory was correct. Penzias and Wilson's observation was thus a piece of confirmatory evidence of the big bang theory.
4. In 1903, Edouard Benedictus dropped a glass flask that failed to break into many pieces. The reason why this occurred was a coating of cellulose nitrate in the flask. This led to the invention of what piece of safety equipment that has saved thousands of lives since?

Answer: Safety glass

Benedictus immediately saw the application of his invention for windscreens in motor cars. Whilst automobile manufacturers were slow to realise the benefit, safety glass was used in eye pieces in gas masks during World War One.
5. Dairymaids who handled the udders of infected cows contracted a disease called cowpox. Edward Jenner (an English physician) in 1796 realised that when people had contracted this disease, they were spared contracting a much more fatal disease. This led to vaccinations against which fatal disease in humans?

Answer: Smallpox

This vaccine would lead to smallpox being the first disease in human history to be eradicated. (This was certified by the World Health Organisation in 1980.) Back in the eighteenth century, it was the leading cause of death amongst Europeans - killing an estimated 400 000 people per year.
6. August Kekulé had been working on trying to discover the structure of a certain chemical. Whilst daydreaming, he saw atoms dancing in front of his eyes. These then morphed into snakes. When one grabbed its own tail, he realised that the structure of the chemical that had been eluding him was a ring. What chemical's atomic structure did Kekulé discover?

Answer: Benzene

Benzene is found in crude oil. It consists of six carbon atoms that are joined together in a ring structure. Each carbon atom, in turn, has one hydrogen atom attached to it. Benzene is an important raw material for the manufacture of a range of chemicals. However, exposure to benzene itself is known to lead to cancer.
7. Sildenafil was being investigated as a possible medication to treat hypertension and angina. A number of participants in the medical trials reported a side effect to the medication that led to Pfizer marketing which drug?

Answer: Viagra

Whilst the clinical trials showed that the medication had no effect on angina, the "side effect" was found to be fortuitous. Annual sales of Viagra peaked in 2008 at US$1,934 million.
8. Another medical example of serendipity: This involved a contaminated petri dish and the mould "Penicillium" that was killing the bacteria that was being studied. This poor hygiene during scientific studies led to the development of Penicillin. Who was the discoverer?

Answer: Alexander Fleming

This discovery occurred in 1928. Fleming received a Nobel prize for this discovery. Penicillin and other antibiotics have saved millions of lives since its discovery.
9. Whilst working with gases to be used as refrigerants, Dr Roy Plunkett found a substance that was extremely slippery. What did he discover?

Answer: Teflon

Teflon (or more correctly polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE) is used on a range of applications. These include being used as a "non-stick" surface in cookware, gear plates, bearings and even as a coating for armour-piercing bullets.
10. Whilst, each of these "light bulb" moments were fortuitous, this was only the start of the work. Who said: "Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety nine per cent perspiration"?

Answer: Thomas Edison

Edison, with his work on inventing the first commercial light bulb, stated that he found hundreds of ways of not making a light bulb before he found one way to successfully make one.
Source: Author pdk42

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor CellarDoor before going online.
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