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 Sahityaki Quizzes - 2001

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Science Quiz Finals - Specialty Round

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Pick a subject you think you know most about.





Indian Science



When NASA launched Voyager 1 and 2 in 1977, astrophysicists carefully plotted the trip so that as the ships passed Jupiter, they would pick up a gravity boost and be able to continue on to visit Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. This cosmic arrangement is called the Grand Tour. When is the next tour due (within +/- 10 years)?


What is special about the leader of a guerilla pack?


You know that in peas, white seed coat colour is dominant over gray; and yellow seed colour dominant over green seed (cotyledon) colour. A scientist decided to confirm this, and sowed a few seeds with gray seed coat and green cotyledons, expecting all seeds borne on these plants to have gray seed coats and green cotyledons. He got all green cotyledons all right, but a mixture of gray and white seed coats. How can you explain this observation?


An ever growing percentage of this element is produced either from the tailing and waste dumps of mines or by in situ leaching. The Romans made use of this process without understanding it and there is a graphic description of it in a fictionalized version of the history of industry in Anglesey in the early nineteenth century by Alexander Cordell in his book, The Land of My Fathers:

‘Those were the early weeks I spent working at the Precipitation pits, and received seven shillings a week, the wages of a man...Old bedsteads, old engines, wheels and nails – scrap of all description from the iron industry of the North comes surging into Amlwch on the ships. The carters unload it and carry it to the pits; and in it goes, iron scrap into the sulphur stew, the blood of Parys. And we, the stirrers, worked the brew with wooden poles – wooden ones since metal ones would melt in the acid – even copper nails in our boots. Stir, stir, stir – nine months it took to melt the iron into a liquid. And the sludge that dropped to the bottom of the pits was ________. Break this up cold and cart it like biscuits down to the maw of the Smelter for refining.

This was the process: a job for men, not boys.’

What element is being extracted by this process?

Indian Science:

He is the first Indian astronomer to have a comet named after him (which he discovered at the age of 22), first Indian astronomer after whom an astronomical effect is known. The Kavalur observatory and its telescope (the most powerful in Asia) are named after him. Who?


Einstein published three papers in the German Scientific journal "Annalen der Physik" in 1905 that are regarded among the world's most important acheivements in theoretical physics. Out of the three papers, one was on photo electric affect and the other on the theory of relativity. What phenomenon did the third paper attempt to explain ?

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