Physics Rules the Sciences. But, How Well Do You Understand It?

By: Becky Stigall
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Newton, Einstein, Hawking and dozens of other physicists laid the groundwork for everything we know about physics and how the world around us works. But, do you know the basics? Take this quiz to test your knowledge of the science that explains it all... or, at least theorizes.

Physics is the study of which of the following?

Physics is the study of how matter and energy interact. There are certain laws that govern these interactions.

Physics uses what other discipline to explain concepts?

Physics uses a lot of math. Many physics equations are very complex.

What term describes how objects move?

Classical mechanics may also be called Newtonian mechanics. Isaac Newton did a lot of work with objects and movement.

Classical mechanics might involve the study of ________?

Force is a factor in physics. It can change how an object behaves.

Classical mechanics might involve the study of ________?

Momentum is a factor in physics. It is a combination of mass and velocity.

Classical mechanics might involve the study of ________?

Friction is a factor in physics. It describes how objects move against one another.

When you use physics in new technology, it's called what?

Applied physics is the development of something for practical use. There's a lot of engineering involved.

Who helped develop the concepts of physics?

Feynman was a theoretical physicist. He studied quantum mechanics.

Who helped develop the principles of physics?

Isaac Newton helped develop classical mechanics. He was born in 1643 (or 1642, by the old Julien calendar).

Which of the following scientists helped develop the concepts of physics?

Albert Einstein was one of the fathers of modern physics. He was born in the German Empire.

Classical mechanics studies how objects do what?

Classical mechanics assumes that objects are under pressure from certain forces. Isaac Newton studied classical mechanics.

Which of the following is NOT a form of classical mechanics?

Newtonian mechanics, Lagrangian mechanics and Hamiltonian mechanics are all forms of classical mechanics.

Which of the following is NOT something that classical mechanics would study?

Classical mechanics studies objects of all sizes and shapes. Taste is not about movement.

Which of the following would NOT be studied in classical mechanics?

The study of solids, liquids and gases are all subsets of classical mechanics. Psychology is not involved in the study of physics.

An object that is picking up speed is doing what?

An object that is picking up speed is accelerating. Physics may study how objects accelerate during a set period of time.

An object that is slowing down is doing what?

An object that is slowing down is decelerating. Physics may study how objects decelerate during a set period of time.

The uncertainty principle may also be called _________ _________?

Heisenberg uncertainty may also be called Heisenberg's indeterminacy principle. It is involved in the study of quantum mechanics.

Which of the following describes how something is measured at a certain point in time?

Instantaneous measurement measures something at that exact moment. An average would include more than one point in time.

The term "classical mechanics" was developed when?

Isaac Newton helped lead the way for classical mechanics. It wasn't until the 20th century that it was given a name.

When was Isaac Newton's "Principia" first published?

Isaac Newton's "Principia" was first published in 1687. The full title of the book, in English, is Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. He wrote in Latin.

Which physicist watched an apple fall from a tree?

Some experts insist the apple story is a myth. Some of Newton's contemporaries insisted the story was true.

Which term best describes the smallest amount of something that interacts with something else?

The plural of quantum is quanta. It describes a physical property.

Who developed the theory that terrestrial gravity extends to the moon?

It took Newton twenty years to fully conceive his theory. He began studying the theory in the late 1600s.

"An object in motion will stay in motion" describes what law?

"An object in motion will stay in motion" describes the first law of motion. This law was developed by Isaac Newton.

Which law states that force is equal to mass times acceleration?

Force is equal to mass times acceleration - that's the second law of motion. This law was developed by Isaac Newton.

Which law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction?

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction - as in, when you push against the ground, it pushes back, so you can jump. This third law was developed by Isaac Newton.

Gravity increases along with which of the following?

Gravity increases along with mass. Distance decreases gravity.

What is needed to change how an object moves?

Forces act on an object to change how it moves. An object without force doesn't move.

Which of the following terms describes how much of an object exists?

Mass is a measurement of an object. Objects vary in mass.

Moving in a straight line is what type of movement?

Moving in a straight line is a simple movement. Simple movements may be fast or slow.

Moving in a squiggly line is what type of movement?

Moving in a squiggly line describes a complex movement. Pitching a baseball is a complex movement because the trajectory curves.

Force is measured in units called _________?

Force is measured in units called Newtons. Yup, they're named after Isaac Newton.

In the equation F = ma, the letter "F" means _______?

The letter "F" stands for force. The full equation is: force equals mass times acceleration.

What mathematical process did Isaac Newton work on at the same time he worked on the laws of physics?

Both Newton and Leibniz are credited with inventing modern calculus. Calculus studies continuous change.

In physics, energy is known as what kind of quantity?

Energy, like mass, is a scalar quantity. It can be represented by a real number.

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