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Cultural Literacy Test - Physical Science II

Take your time with the following cultural literacy test. If you select the correct answer it will be highlighted in green and the related information will be shown. If the first answer selected is incorrect, it will be highlighted in yellow, indicating try again. If the second answer selected is incorrect, the correct answer will be displayed. See the Bibliography to learn more about this test.

Wrong Answer Try Again Correct
1. What is the difference between nuclear fission and nuclear fusion?
Fission produces an explosion; fusion produces safe energy.
In fission an atomic nucleus is split; in fusion two atomic nuclei are joined.
In a fission explosion only living things are killed; in a fusion explosion all objects are destroyed.
Much more energy is produced in fission than in fusion.
2. What is the difference between a solar system and a galaxy?
A solar system is a star and its family of planets and other bodies; a galaxy is a mass of stars, dust, and gases
A solar system is a group of stars; a galaxy is a geographic location in the universe.
A solar system is a group of stars that forms a pattern in the sky; a galaxy is a cluster of dust and gases.
There is no difference.
3. What is the study of thermodynamics?
the study of sound and its production and effects
the study of atomic nuclei and their properties and uses
the study of the properties and role of electrons
the study of heat and its conversion into other forms of energy
4. What does the law of gravitation state?
If an object is given momentum in one direction, another object will get an equal momentum in the other direction.
Molecules are in a continual state of rapid motion.
Any two bodies are attracted with a force inversely proportional to the square of their distance apart.
Force equals mass times acceleration.
5. What did Archimedes discover?
An object immersed in liquid appears to lose an amount of weight equal to the amount of water it displaces.
The volume of a confined gas at a constant temper­ature varies inversely with the temperature.
When a liquid flows through a horizontal tube, the amount of energy per kilo is unchanged.
Pressure applied to any part of an enclosed liquid is transmitted to every other part of the liquid.
6. What are the particles that make up an atom called?
molecules
protons, neutrons, and electrons
mitochondria and vacuoles
moles
7. What theory did Copernicus develop?
the first modern theory of heliocentric movement of the planets
the first modern theory explaining the phases of the Moon
the theory that states that life can exist on other planets
the theory that states that stars move
8. What is a quark?
a type of mineral with the compound name SiO2
a faint blue starlike object that is receding from our galaxy
a hypothetical particle with a fractional charge
an alkaloid isolated from a tree of the genus Cin­chona
9. If a chemical solution is neutral, what is its pH?
3
7
4.5
14
10. If the barometric pressure falls abruptly, what will happen?
The sun will come out.
The temperature will rise.
There will be a storm.
It will be windy.
11. For what is Galileo known?
discovering a comet and studying sunspots satellites
theorizing about motion, inventing a telescope, discovering the composition of the Milky Way
observing the planets, discovering a supernova, theorizing on the Moon's motion
describing the revolutions of planets and calculating the duration of planetary orbits
12. What are the layers of the Earth, from center to outer layer?
liquid core, solid core, plate, rock
crust, rock, sediment, mantle
core, basin, sediment, crust
solid core, liquid core, mantle, crust
13. What are the four states of matter?
solid, liquid, gas, plasma
atom, molecule, cell, organism
acid, basic, alkaline, neutral
terrestrial, solar, cosmic, universal
14. What are the three means of movement of heat?
ventilation, emission, absorption
conduction, convection, radiation
transfer, expansion, evaporation
condensation, diffraction, propagation
15. What is an ion?
an atom with a positive or negative charge
an atom with a neutral charge
a particle possessing a positive electrical charge
an electron found in the outermost shell of an atom
16. What is the difference between a stalactite and a stal­agmite?
Stalactites hang down, and stalagmites grow up­ward.
Stalactites are made of calcite, and stalagmites are made of quartzite.
Stalactites grow upward, and stalagmites hang down.
Stalactites are found in underground caves, and stalagmites are found in aboveground caves.
17. To possess superconductivity, a substance must
surround a battery with an iron core
lose all electrical resistance
have a positive electrical charge
be alkaline and contain hydrogen
18. What makes isotopes of a given element different from each other?
the number of neutrons in the atom nucleus
the number of protons in the atom nucleus
the number of electrons in the atom nucleus
All elemental isotopes are the same.
19. What makes up the light spectrum?
ultraviolet radiation, X rays, and gamma rays
infrared radiation, microwaves, and radio waves
transparent light, opaque light, and translucent light
white light diffracted into violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red
20. How is hail formed?
Raindrops pass through a layer of freezing rain and freeze partially.
Water vapor becomes solid crystal at temperatures below freezing.
Raindrops are blown up and down in a cloud, freezing and refreezing.
Drops of water form around large dust particles and evaporate partially before hitting the ground.
21. What is the most important characteristic of X rays?
their ability to produce heat
their ability to produce an image by reflecting light
their ability to magnify objects
their ability to penetrate dense substances
22. What does the periodic table of elements show?
the geological periods during which the different elements were formed
rows of elements by atomic number, with elements sharing similar properties grouped in columns
the atomic structure of the elements and their isotopes
rows of elements, their symbols, atomic numbers, weight, melting point, and boiling point
23. What is a compound?
a liquid mixture that includes water
a liquid that produces gas bubbles
a substance that dissolves when added to water
a substance made of atoms of two or more elements
24. How do you calculate a wavelength?
Divide the speed of the wave motion by its frequency.
Measure the number of vibrations in a wave motion.
Measure the distance between the top and the middle of a wave.
Calculate the pitch of the sound the wave produces.
25. What is the identifying characteristic of crystal?
It does not have a definite form.
It conducts heat and electricity.
It has a regular repeating arrangement of atoms.
Its molecules can move about with no force holding them together.
SCORING KEY
90-100%
Excellent. You are on your way to true cultural literacy.
80-89%
Good. You have more than a passing knowledge of this subject.
70-79%
Fair. You have a competent grasp of many aspects of this subject.
60-69%
Poor. You could use some improvement in this area.
Below 60%
Time for literacy training.
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