Tuesday, September 13

Chemical Chronicles: The Quiz

As an experiment, I'm tutoring a high school chemistry course. Since I had no idea what kind of science background my two students have, I decided to survey their knowledge with this very basic quiz. In a future post, I'll explain the rationale behind each question. I would expect most readers of this blog to answer most of them without any trouble, but there are a few curveballs along the way.

1. Name ten elements besides the following three examples: carbon, aluminum, oxygen.

2. Arrange in order from smallest (1) to largest (6):

millimiter ___
nanometer ___

kilometer ___

centimeter ___

megameter ___

micrometer ___

Name three particles smaller than an atom.

4. What is the chemical name of table salt?

5. What is an ion?

6. If I add 1 kilogram of hot water (at 90 ºC) to 1 kilogram of cold water (at 10 ºC) and stir it all together, what is the new temperature?

7. Now if I add 1 kilogram of metal (say, copper) at 90 ºC to 1 kilogram of water at 10 ºC, what will the new temperature approximately be?

8. What is the composition of air?

9. Name a place where you might find carbon dioxide (besides air, which is really only 0.03% carbon dioxide anyway)

10. What is the physical difference between red light and blue light?

11. What is a crystal?

12. When you rub a balloon against your hair for a few seconds, it will stick to the wall. Why?

13. What is the sun made of?

14. What are the states of matter?

15. When you go out to a restaurant, the ice cubes you get in your drink are see-through and glass-like, but the ice cubes you make in your freezer are hazy and dull. Why?

16. What is fire?

17. I balance two almost-full cups of water on a ruler over a pencil as shown (side view), making a crude set of scales:

[-picture removed for copyright purposes-]

[-just kidding - I'll get it to work later, but you can probably figure it out-]

If I insert my finger into one glass of water without touching the sides, what will happen?

18. Give three examples of an alloy.

19. Why is the sky blue?

20. Give three examples of a common chemical reaction.

21. What are the standard scientific units for the following physical properties?

Length ___
Mass ___

Time ___
Speed ___

Force ___

Pressure ___

Energy ___

Power ___

Electric Current ___

22. Arrange in order of melting point, from lowest to highest: wax, ice, tungsten, table salt, gold, plastic

23. How does a hot air balloon work?

24. What do you weigh? Now, what is your mass?

25. Name something that you would find in your household that is an acid.

26. About how many molecules are in a raindrop?

27. What is the most interesting thing you learned in last year’s science class?

1 comment:

JeremyHussell said...

My answers are here. If you haven't answered the questions yourself yet, don't spoil things by reading my answers (a couple of which I'm pretty sure are wrong anyway).