It’s Friday, the weekend happily approaches once again, and so it’s also time for the Friday quiz. In store this week: great scientific quotations, a dip into maths and – do try and contain your excitement – a round all about belts.
Round 1 – Quotations
Scientists have come up with some snappy lines over the years – how many of them do you know?
1. Isaac Newton famously said “If I have seen further than others, it is by…” what?
2. Which famous 20th Century physicist, when asked if he believed in horseshoes replied: “Not at all. I am scarcely likely to believe in such foolish nonsense. However, I am told that a horseshoe will bring you good luck whether you believe in it or not.”
3. Which double Nobel Prize-winning scientist offered the following words of advice: “Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to correct for subjective error.”
Round 2 – Belts
That’s right – belts. It’s the round that everyone has been clamouring for, and it’s finally here at long last.
1. What is the name of the belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter which contains thousands of irregularly shaped chunks of debris?
2. What is the name of the similar but much larger belt that extends from the orbit of Neptune to far beyond it?
3. What is the name of the doughnut-shaped belts of radiation found between 1000 and 60,000km above the Earth, and named after the American scientist who discovered them in 1958?
Round 3 – The Picture Round
Three different things to identify this week – and a bonus question at the end.
1. These are trees of the genus Sequoia. What is the common English name for trees of this genus?
2. What are these mammalian sea creatures?
3. Who is this Italian chemist, who gives his name to the constant describing the number of atoms or molecules within one mole of a substance?
And for a bonus point: if you take the initial letters of the answers in this round, you get the common abbreviation of which biologically important substance?
Round 4 – Mathematics
Carl Friedrich Gauss described mathematics as “the Queen of the Sciences” (although as a mathematician he would say that), and it is the essential foundation of countless scientific discoveries in almost every field. What better reason is needed to have a round devoted to it?
1. Which longstanding mathematical problem was finally cracked by Andrew Wiles in 1994?
2. Which mathematician wrote ‘The Music of the Primes’ and is the current Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, the second person to have held the post, after Richard Dawkins?
3. In 1736, Leonhard Euler finally solved (another) longstanding mathematical problem, which centred around whether or not it was possible to travel around a certain city crossing each one of its seven bridges once and once only (Euler proved that it wasn’t). What was the city in question?
Round 5 – Spelling with Atomic symbols
It’s a chemistry test and a spelling test all in one – can it get any more fun? In this round, the answers are all words that can be made up by combining the chemical symbols for various elements. To answer the question correctly, you have to give the names of the elements that are required to spell the answer. For example, if the question is “What two elements’ atomic symbols can be combined to make the common one word name of the small duck with the scientific name Anas crecca?“ then the answer would be “Tellurium and Aluminium”, giving us Te and Al for “teal”.
1. What three elements’ atomic symbols can be combined to give the name of a much-in-the-news particle physics laboratory based in Geneva?
2. What five elements’ atomic symbols can be combined to give us the general name for the science of heredity (and particularly the molecules involved in heredity and variation)?
3. What three elements’ atomic symbols can be combined to give the surname of the Austrian theoretical physicist best known for formulating the “exclusion principle”?
Enjoy the quiz – and why not test your friends too? Answers will be revealed on Monday.