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Everyday science

Everyday science

Test your knowledge of art, space and science in this trivia quiz

22 May 2020

The latest Physics World trivia quiz has been set by Sam Illingworth, a senior lecturer in science communication at the University of  Western Australia

Colourful creation: the spot painting prepared for the Beagle 2 space mission (Courtesy: European Space Agency)

1 What was the name of the physicist in Hergé’s Tintin comics? A. Professor Calculus B. Dr Maths C. Prof. Angle D. Dr Division

2 Who played Nikola Tesla in the 2006 film The Prestige? A. Hugh Jackman B. Christian Bale C. David Bowie D. Michael Caine

3 Which band had a visual representation of the pulsar CP 1919 as the cover image for their debut album? A. Oasis B. Joy Division C. The Happy Mondays D. The Smiths

4 Which artist painted a special instrument calibration chart for the Beagle 2 lander? A. David Hockney B. Tracey Emin C. Sarah Lucas D. Damien Hirst

5 Which famous physicist makes an appearance in Steve Martin’s 1993 play Picasso at the Lapin Agile? A. Albert Einstein B. Paul Dirac C. Richard Feynman D. Erwin Schrödinger

6 Who first discovered the 35P/Herschel–Rigollet comet? A. William Herschel B. Roger Rigollet C. Caroline Herschel D. Nevil Maskelyne

7 What number reactor was the site of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986? A. Reactor 1 B. Reactor 2 C. Reactor 3 D. Reactor 4

8 Which famous physicist once said: “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”? A. Brian Cox B. Carl Sagan C. Neil deGrasse Tyson D. Jocelyn Bell Burnell

9 Who wrote about the Big Bang in their 1846 prose poem Eureka? A. Edgar Allen Poe B. Walt Whitman C. William Carlos Williams D. Emily Dickinson

10 Which Kurt Vonnegut Jr. novel features the fictional Nobel-prize-winning physicist Felix Hoenikker? A. The Sirens of Titan B. Timequake C. Cat’s Cradle D. Galápago

Want to know the answers? We’ll reveal all next week on Friday 29 May.

Effective Science Communication (Second Edition) coverThis week’s questions have been set by IOP ebooks author Sam Illingworth, who is senior lecturer in science communication at the University of  Western Australia. His book Effective Science Communication is a must-read for anyone preparing funding applications, publishing scientific papers, presenting at conferences or engaging with the public. This second edition brings the text up to date and includes additional material, yet retains the clear insight and practical advice that made the first edition so essential.

Update: the answers are 1. A 2. C 3. B 4. D 5. A 6. C 7. D 8. C 9. A 10. C

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