Science, nature & technology 48

From the quiz on 5/9/17.

  1. What is the common name of the tree with binomial name Aesculus hippocastanum, whose nuts are known as conkers? Horse chestnut

  2. Preparation H is a common brand of medication for treating which inflammatory condition in humans? Haemorrhoids/piles

  3. Which Italian mathematician lends his name to a sequence of positive integers beginning 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, …, with each successive number the sum of the previous two? Fibonacci

  4. To which animal does the word ‘vulpine’ pertain? Fox

  5. What name, from the Greek for “different manner”, is given to any of the physical forms in which a chemical element can exist, such as graphite and diamond for carbon? Allotrope

  6. The shoebill, grey crowned crane and kori bustard are bird species native to which continent? Africa

  7. In physiology, what is the common name for thrombocytes, disc-shaped cell fragments that play a crucial role in blood clotting? Platelets

  8. What is the current geological era? Cenozoic

  9. Saturn, the least dense planet in the Solar System, consists predominantly of which chemical element? Hydrogen

  10. Which English scientist lends his surname to a type of cage that shields against electromagnetic fields? (Michael) Faraday


Science, nature & technology 47

From the quiz on 15/8/17.

  1. What is the longest bone in the human body? Femur (thighbone)

  2. Which English physicist lends his surname to a type of radiation theorized to be released by black holes from just outside the event horizon? (Stephen) Hawking

  3. In zoology, what adjective, from the Latin for “alive” and “bearing”, is applied to animals that give birth to live young that have developed inside the parent? Viviparous

  4. The SI prefix kilo- denotes a factor of what power of 10? 10³ (1000)

  5. Used as a coolant in nuclear reactors, NaK is an alloy of which two chemical elements? Sodium and potassium

  6. In physics, what is the opposite of redshift? Blueshift

  7. Deglutition is the technical term for what common action in animals? Swallowing

  8. Which scientist and monk, popularly known as the “father of modern genetics”, discovered the basic laws of inheritance through a series of experiments on pea plant hybridization in the 19th century? (Gregor) Mendel

  9. A formicarium is an artificial container for keeping and observing which animals? Ants

  10. Lawrence Bragg, the youngest winner of a science Nobel Prize, won in 1915 at the age of 25 in which category? Physics

Science, nature & technology 46

From the quiz on 25/7/17.

  1. What is the common name for monozygotic twins? Identical twins

  2. In mathematics, 4/3 πr³ is the formula for the volume enclosed by which common geometric object? Sphere

  3. Goliath, Darwin’s, African clawed, northern leopard, red-eyed tree and yellow-banded poison dart are all species of which animal? Frog

  4. Which major spiral galaxy, located about 2.5 million light years away, is travelling towards the Milky Way at about 400,000km/h and is predicted to collide with it in about 4 billion years? Andromeda

  5. Where is a nosocomial disease contracted? In hospital (accept similar)

  6. In chemistry, what adjective, from the Greek for “within” and “heat”, is applied to a process or reaction that absorbs heat from its surroundings? Endothermic

  7. In 1642, which French mathematician invented an early mechanical calculator called the Arithmetic Machine to help his father Étienne compute taxes? (Blaise) Pascal

  8. Congenital talipes equinovarus is the medical name for which deformity of the human foot? Club foot

  9. For what do the letters TC stand in TCP, the Internet protocol (P) on which the Web, e-mail and countless other services depend? Transmission Control

  10. Which human bone, situated in the neck and supporting the tongue, is the only bone that is not directly connected to any other? Hyoid bone

Science, nature & technology 45

From the quiz on 11/7/17.

  1. Which number on the pH scale represents neutral? 7

  2. Which two chemical elements are named after US states? Californium and tennessine

  3. The flightless cormorant, lava heron, Floreana mockingbird and fourteen of the fifteen species of tanager known as Darwin’s finches are all endemic to which archipelago? Galápagos Islands

  4. Argyria is a disease in which prolonged exposure to which chemical element (or its compounds) causes the skin to turn blue–grey? Silver

  5. Injective, additive, monotonic, compactly-supported, holomorphic, Lipschitz and càdlàg are all types of what mathematical object? Function/map

  6. In optics, for what does the acronym laser stand? Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation

  7. Chondrocytes are specialized cells that form what type of bodily tissue, which in humans may be found in the epiglottis, the nose and the outer ear? Cartilage

  8. Which programming language was created in the early 1980s by Danish computer scientist Bjarne Stroustrup? C++

  9. Since NASA retired the Space Shuttle in 2011, all human travel to and from the International Space Station has been conducted as part of which Russian space-flight programme? Soyuz

  10. What is the common name of Diomedea exulans, a species of albatross that has the longest wingspan of any living bird (up to 11 feet)? Wandering albatross

Specialist: mathematical physics

From the quiz on 4/7/17.

  1. In astronomy, Kepler’s third law of planetary motion states that the square of the orbital period of a planet is proportional to what power of its orbit’s semi-major axis? 3 (cube)

  2. In electromagnetism, the four Maxwell equations are Ampère’s law, Faraday’s law of induction and two others both named after which German mathematician and physicist? (Carl Friedrich) Gauss

  3. The widely-used physical operator known as the Laplacian is commonly denoted by which capital Greek letter? Δ (delta)

  4. One of the Clay Mathematics Institute’s $1m Millennium Prize Problems concerns the existence of solutions to which fundamental equations of fluid dynamics? Navier–Stokes equations

  5. Which English mathematician and physicist introduced so-called bra–ket notation, which is now the standard way to represent states in quantum physics? (Paul) Dirac

Science, nature & technology 44

From the quiz on 13/6/17.

  1. In chemistry, a CFC is an organic compound containing which three chemical elements? Chlorine, fluorine, carbon

  2. In mathematics, what name is given to a natural number greater than 1 that is not prime? Composite number

  3. Which annual awards are presented each year by the Annals of Improbable Research to honour scientific research that “first makes people laugh, and then makes them think”? Ig Nobel Prizes

  4. Arctic, red, swift and fennec are all species of which animal? Fox

  5. What name, from the Greek for “burning up”, was given to a hypothetical substance supposed by 18th-century chemists to be responsible for combustion and given off by all burning bodies? Phlogiston

  6. Which German physicist proved the existence of radio waves and discovered the photoelectric effect in the late 1880s? (Heinrich) Hertz

  7. Elver is the name given to the young of which fish when migrating en masse upriver from the sea? Eel

  8. What is the name of the hypothetical opposite of the Big Bang in which the universe eventually collapses back to a singularity? Big Crunch

  9. On the moment magnitude scale for measuring earthquake intensity, an increase of two steps corresponds to how many times more energy being released? 1,000×

  10. The modern WIMP graphical user interface, WYSIWYG document editing, Ethernet and the laser printer were all developed in the 1970s at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), a division of which American company? Xerox

Science, nature & technology 43

From the quiz on 23/5/17.

  1. In computing, what name is given to the process whereby pieces of files stored in different locations on disk are rewritten contiguously to improve performance? Defragmentation

  2. Mimic, glass, blanket, seven-arm and giant Pacific are all species of which mollusc? Octopus

  3. Which chemical element’s name derives from the Greek for “acid producer” because Antoine Lavoisier, who named it, mistakenly believed that it was a constituent of all acids? Oxygen

  4. In human anatomy, a diastema is a gap between two of which part of the body? Teeth

  5. In film and television, for what does the letter i stand in the name of video modes such as 480i and 1080i? Interlaced

  6. In obstetrics, what name, from the French for “suction cup”, is given to a vacuum device that attaches to a baby’s head to assist in delivery? Ventouse

  7. What property of a fluid can be measured by a Bourdon gauge, Pirani gauge or McLeod gauge? Pressure

  8. In order for a stag to be classified as a royal stag, its antlers must have how many points? 12

  9. In 1927, which German quantum physicist published his uncertainty principle, stating a particle’s position and momentum cannot both be measured exactly, at the same time? (Werner) Heisenberg

  10. Vitamin K is so called because of its crucial role in which bodily process? Blood clotting/coagulation (from German Koagulationsvitamin)