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SCIENCE TRIVIA

1) When was the idea of the atom first introduced?


The idea of the atom was first introduced by Leucippus of Miletus around 450 B.C.. Leucippus and his pupil, Democritus, theorized that all matter was composed of atoms, or bits of matter too small to be seen. The word "atom" comes from a Greek word, "atomos", meaning uncuttable, because Leucippus believed that atoms were the building blocks of all materials and therefore could not be broken down any further.

2) In 2004, what was discovered on the island of Flores in Indonesia?


In 2004, on the island of Flores in Indonesia, a team of Australian and Indonesian researchers discovered the remains of a hobbit-sized human, one that stood no more than a meter tall. Remarkable, these researchers determined that this new species of human lived as recently as 13,000 years ago, shattering the long-held belief that Homo sapiens have had the planet to themselves for the past 25,000 years.

3) An earthquake that measures 8 on the Richter Scale would be how many times stronger than an earthquake that measures 4 on the same scale?


The Richter Scale is logarithmic, which means that each successive whole number represents a 10-fold increase in power. Thus, an earthquake that measures 8 would be 10,000 times stronger than an earthquake that measures 4.

4) What is the gestation period of a Hippopotamus?


The gestation period for a hippopotamus is 8 months. The mother will then go off by herself to have the 27-50 kg. baby which may be born either on land or underwater.

5) What physicist discovered that a wave's frequency changes when the source and the observer are in motion relative to one another?


Austrian physicist Christian Johann Doppler (1803-1853) discovered that a wave's frequency changes when the source and observer are in motion relative to one another. This is known as the Doppler effect.

6) In what type of matter are atoms most tightly packed?


Atoms are most tightly packed in a solid, and are usually in a regular pattern. Atoms in a liquid are close together, with no regular arrangement. Atoms in a gas are well separated, with no regular arrangement, and move freely at high speeds.

7) Which of the following means "rain" when added to a cloud's name?


Nimbus means "rain" when added to a cloud's name. Nimbostratus are dark, low-level clouds accompanied by light to moderately falling precipitation, and Cumulonimbus are dense towering vertical clouds associated with thunderstorms.

8) How many brains did a Stegosaurus have?


Although it was a long-held belief that the Stegosaurus had three brains: One in its head, one in its back, and one in its tail, recent studies have shown that these extra "brains" were actually energy stores for muscles. So the Stegosaurus had only one brain, and not a very big one at that!

9) What instrument is used to measure wind speed?


An anemometer is used to measure wind speed. The first mechanical anemometer was invented in 1450 by Italian artist and architect Leon Battista Alberti.

10) Which of the following has the largest brain?


The appearance of modern man about 100,000 years ago was marked by a decrease in body size at the same time as an increase in brain size. However, it is worth noting that Neanderthals, which became extinct about 40,000 years ago, had larger brains than modern Homo sapiens.


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