June 24, 2013

Science & Technology Quiz- from The Hindu

1. On July 19, the Cassini space telescope will take only the third photo of Earth from outer space. The first such photo was taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from a distance of 6 billion kilometres. The result was an iconic image in which the Earth looked like a “____ ____ ___”, according to cosmologist Carl Sagan. Fill in the blanks.
2. On June 20, American entrepreneur Elon Musk announced new technology for his electric car company. According to it, the battery powering each car could be swapped at automated ‘supercharging’ stations within 90 seconds, which is shorter than it takes to refill a petrol tank. Name his company.
3. On June 21, researchers from France reported that their studies of muscles in the human body had revealed that they had strange, unnatural properties - such as the ability to loosen when stretched instead of stiffening. As a result, what class of materials did the scientists say that muscles could belong to?
4. There is a special equation in astronomy, created in 1961. Solving the equation gives rise to the probable number of civilisations in our galaxy with which we could communicate. On June 21, an American astronomer named Sara Seager proposed some changes to this equation and brought it to a more reasonable form. Name the scientist who formulated the equation in 1961.
5. At the moment, the amount of data that can be stored on a DVD or a VCD is limited by ____’s law. The law states that the smallest spot of a beam of light, which is used to ‘burn’ data onto discs, cannot be less wide than half its wavelength. Thus, only a certain number of ‘spots’ can be accommodated on the disc’s surface. On June 19, Australian researchers claimed to have invented a new way of burning these discs and circumventing ____’s law, thereby storing 1,000 TB of data where only 4-5 GB could be. Fill in the blank.
6. China : Tianhe-2 : : India : ?
7. On June 17, 1963 (50 years ago), Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. Name the spacecraft aboard which she made her journey.
8. Quarks are the smallest possible bits of matter in nature. They combine together to form other, bigger particles such as protons and neutrons, which in turn combine in different ways with electrons to form atoms and molecules. Depending on the number of quarks in a combination, different particles are conceived with different properties. Last week, scientists for the first time observed four quarks coming together to form a strange particle. How many quarks make up a proton?
9. India’s first global positioning system (GPS) satellite will be launched on July 1 by the Indian Space Research Organisation. What is its name?
10. June 19 was the 390th birth anniversary of a French physicist and inventor, after whom the SI unit of pressure is named. He was also responsible for building the world’s first mechanical calculator around 1645. Name him.
1. Pale Blue Dot
2. Tesla
3. Metamaterials
4. Frank Drake
5. Abbe's law (named after Ernst Karl Abbe)
6. iDataPlex DX360 M4 - India’s fastest supercomputer
7. Vostok 6
8. Three
9. Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) 1A
10. Blaise Pascal


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