Can You Give Us the Definition of These A-Z Science Words?

By: Ashley Ehman
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Can You Give Us the Definition of These A-Z Science Words?
Image: Alina555/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Some people excelled at writing in school; others found that their time was better spent practicing their musical instrument of choice. Maybe going out for the football team was more your thing! If those options didn't pan out, perhaps you found solace in the scientific. Perhaps it was the vast depth of the universe that attracted some of your friends to astronomy. Biology promises an understanding of how life on our planet functions. Better yet is physics, which applies mathematics to daily happenings. 

No matter what your favorite scientific subject was, if your memories of grade school bring back flashes of fetal pig dissections and chlorophyll, then this quiz is for you! The mitochondria might be the powerhouse of the cell, but will you be the powerhouse of this quiz? Are you able to distinguish between igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks? Do you know what it means to be in homeostasis? Can you name the outer layer of skin that encases our bodies? 

Take this quiz to test your scientific knowledge, and maybe learn a few things along the way. We'll go from A to Z, and then some, to determine if you're a top producer in this knowledge ecosystem or just a parasitic bottom-feeder. 

Q21 meant to produce motion and force What part of the human body is meant to produce motion and force?
Skin
Bone
Muscle
The human body has three different kinds of muscles. Cardiac muscle is what makes up the heart, smooth muscle is found on the outside of internal organs, and skeletal muscle is linked to the skeleton.
Veins

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Q4 float in a fluid The ability to float in a fluid is known as what?
Floatness
Buoyancy
Buoyancy is created when a fluid exerts a certain amount of force on an object that has been immersed in it. The idea is that because pressure increases with depth, there will always be an upward thrust on objects, since there is greater force at the bottom.
Aquatic rebound
Density opposition

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Q23 stratosphere This is the layer of the Earth's stratosphere that blocks out the majority of the Sun's UV rays. What is it called?
Troposphere
Mesosphere
Ozone layer
Without the presence of the ozone layer, more of the sun's harmful UV-B rays would reach the Earth's surface. This would result in higher rates of cancer and an increased global temperature.
Thermosphere

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Q11 Earth's surface This type of energy is generated by heat beneath the Earth's surface. What is it called?
Mantle energy
Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is an excellent alternative for those looking for a sustainable and clean method to provide power. Heat from below the Earth's surface is used to create steam, which rotates a turbine, creating energy.
Magmonic energy
Geoheat energy

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Q26 vitamin C deficiency Caused by a vitamin C deficiency, this disease was not uncommon among pirates and sailors. What was it?
Anemia
Pellagra
Rickets
Scurvy
Due to the limited food supply available on ships, pirates and sailors dealt with scurvy. The disease caused their teeth to fall out, their gums to bleed and their hair to thin. Without treatment, people usually perished.

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Q2 lowest temperature possible What term is used to describe the lowest temperature possible?
Infinite zero
Absolute zero
Absolute zero is the temperature in the universe at which atoms completely stop moving. Absolute zero is defined by the Kelvin scale, but translated, it is approximately -460 degrees Fahrenheit or -273 degrees Celsius.
Final zero
Theoretical zero

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Q27 Stress This is defined as a measurement of how much stress an object can handle. What is it?
Yield strength
Tensile strength
Tensile strength is the measure of the force that is needed to break an object. For example, if a rope is being pulled on, the moment before it breaks would reveal its tensile strength.
Mechanics of materials
Fatigue strength

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Q15 Fork Falling A fork falling from a table is an example of what kind of energy?
Potential energy
Kinetic energy
Kinetic energy is defined as the energy of motion. In order for energy to be converted from potential to kinetic, a force must act upon an object so as to put the object in motion.
Thermal energy
Chemical energy

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Q30 Waves Waves have a tendency to exhibit repeating patterns. The distance from one wave crest to another is called what?
Period
Magnitude
Wavelength
Wavelength can also be found by comparing the distance between successive waves' troughs and zero crossings. Wavelength is influenced by the medium it is traveling through, whether it's water, air or something else entirely.
Peak distance

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Q6 protein Which of these are considered to be the "building blocks of protein"?
DNA
Thymine
Nucleic acids
Amino acids
Our bodies receive essential, conditionally essential and nonessential amino acids from the protein that we eat. These organic compounds repair muscle tissue, promote growth, help with digestion and assist in many other bodily functions.

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Q10 Plate tectonics Plate tectonics is responsible for many things, including what large cracks in the Earth's crust?
Tears
Tectonic shifts
Geological rifting
Faults
Faults can be found across the globe — they are the most common cause of earthquakes. One of the most active fault areas is the Ring of Fire, which is found along the basin of the Pacific Ocean.

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Q9 negatively charged particle in an atom What is the term used to describe a negatively charged particle in an atom?
Electron
Electrons are necessary for producing a great number of phenomena in the physical world. Without electrons, we would not have thermal conductivity, magnetism, electricity or even chemistry!
Proton
Nucleus
Quark

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Q24 unit of measurement Which unit of measurement is equivalent to approximately 3.26 light years?
Planck's Constant
Parsec
Prior to its official naming, three options had been proposed for the vast distance being discussed. Frank Watson Dyson had put forth the name "astron," while other scientists had come up with "siriometer" and "parsec." Parsec was ultimately chosen.
Mole
Bohr radius

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Q14 International System of Units What is the term used to describe work or energy, as per the International System of Units (SI)?
Newton
Mole
Ampere
Joule
A joule is a unit of measurement for energy, and it is equal to the work necessary to produce one watt of power over the span of one second. Based on this, a joule can also be measured as a watt-second.

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Q7 element Which element is said to form the basis of life?
Carbon
Carbon is a very adaptable element and can be found in a number of compounds. In fact, it is part of more compounds than all the rest of the elements put together! Some of its more common forms are charcoal, graphite and diamond.
Helium
Iron
Potassium

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Q33 Fungi Which of the following is a single-celled fungus that can be used to make antibiotics?
Yeast
Yeast is very easy to find in the world. It naturally occurs on the exterior of some fruits, like peaches and grapes. Yeast can also be found on the human body, living between a person's toes and other places.
Prokaryotes
Entamoeba coli
Archae

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Q8 The tree-like extensions The tree-like extensions that branch off of a neuron are called what?
Neuronian extensions
Dendrites
A neuron, or nerve cell, is made up of the soma, axons, axon terminals and dendrites. A neuron's dendrites communicate with other neurons, bringing in information through electrochemical stimulation.
Axon
Soma

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Q3 Cobalt-60 Cobalt-60 is an example of which of the following?
Noble gas
Stable isotope
Radioactive isotope
Cobalt-60 is a radioactive isotope that plays a large role in cancer treatment. Medical professionals can use the isotope to kill harmful cells or even control their growth, sometimes eliminating the need for surgery.
Unstable isotope

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Q28 eclipse If you are experiencing a total eclipse, what part of a shadow are you in?
Penumbra
Antumbra
Umbra
Shadows are made up of three different parts, called the antumbra, the penumbra and the umbra, which is the darkest part of a shadow. The umbra is where any light is completely blocked out by another object.
The opaque region

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Q1 massive cloud of dust What term is used to describe a massive cloud of dust and ionized gases found in space?
Supernova
Galaxy
Dark matter
Nebula
Nebulae can form when a star dies and explodes or in an area where new stars are trying to form. One well-known nebula is the Crab Nebula, which was formed when the Taurus constellation suffered a supernova.

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Q35 Earths surface What material found below the Earth's surface comes in basaltic, andesitic and rhyolitic varieties?
Granite
Molten mantle
Magma
Magma is molten rock, found beneath the Earth's surface. When magma cools below ground, it forms plutonic rocks, such as gabbro, which is quite common in the Earth's deep oceanic crust.
Brucite

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Q12 known as the 'God Particle' Which particle is known as the "God Particle"?
Quark
Lepton
Fermion
Higgs boson
Up until 2013, the Higgs boson was only a theoretical particle in the Standard Model of particle physics. Its existence was confirmed with the Large Hadron Collider located at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland.

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Q25 subatomic particle What subatomic particles combine to form hadrons?
Quarks
Despite their perceived existence, quarks cannot be observed directly or as a single quark. They can only be detected when they have joined together to form hadrons. A quark carries a charge, known as its "color."
Leptons
Gluons
Gauge bosons

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Q34 perceived point immediately above The perceived point in the sky directly above a certain location is called what?
Astronomical horizon
Zenith
The term "zenith" is used to describe the point directly overhead. The sun is at its zenith above you if a pencil poked straight into the ground casts absolutely no shadow. The sun's zenith passage relates to the Mayan calendar.
True horizon
Nadir

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Q19 must have mass and velocity In order to have this, an object must have mass and velocity. What is it?
Speed
Force
Momentum
The initial definition of momentum began with work done by the French scientist Rene Descartes. From there, the English scientist Sir Isaac Newton took things further and developed his laws of motion, which consider momentum.
Time

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Q17 algae There is one major group of algae that is made primarily of silica. What are these algae cells called?
Cyanobacteria
Coccolithophores
Brown algae
Diatoms
Diatoms are found in various water sources and soils around the world. They are a great fertilizer once they die, as their shells erode to dust which is scattered across nearby land by the wind.

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Q5 describe the energy necessary to increase the temperature What term is used to describe the energy necessary to increase the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius?
Joule
Heat unit
Latent heat exchange
Calorie
The word "calorie" is not seen as often as "joule" or "kilojoule" in scientific texts these days, given the modern way of measuring temperature increase through joules. One calorie has the same amount of energy as approximately 4.18 joules.

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Q29 element's ability to combine with other atoms What term is used to describe an element's ability to combine with other atoms?
Valency
Valency refers to the potential activity of valence electrons. These are the electrons found in an element's outermost shell that can be used to create bonds with another element's particles.
Oxidation
Molecular pull
Atomic force

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Q13 Basalt Basalt and granite are examples of which kind of rock?
Igneous rock
Igneous rocks are formed from lava or magma that cools and solidifies. If they form below the Earth's surface, they are considered intrusive igneous rocks; if they form above the surface, they're extrusive.
Sedimentary rock
Metamorphic rock
Cosmogenous rock

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Q32 Roots What part of a plant brings water from the roots to the leaves and stem?
Phloem
Flower
Stamen
Xylem
The xylem is responsible for getting water from the roots to other parts of the plant, in addition to distributing nutrients. When a plant loses moisture through functions such as photosynthesis and transpiration, the xylem works to replace it.

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Q16 The heat that is used to convert an object The heat that is used to convert an object from one state of matter to another, without increasing or decreasing its temperature, is called what?
Latent heat
Latent heat can cause phase changes within a substance. This can mean turning something from a solid to a liquid to a gas and vice versa. This heat does not affect the overall temperature of the object.
Sensible heat
Radiation
Specific heat

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Q22 volts per ampere The measure of volts per ampere is known as what?
Watt
Ohm
"Ohm" is the term used to describe the electrical resistance between two points. The unit of measurement was named after Georg Simon Ohm, who put together many theories of electricity.
Alternating current
Apparent power

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Q31 Tide What aquatic phenomenon is known as a "king tide"?
Spring tide
Spring tides happen when the gravitational pull of the moon and sun are closely aligned. Because of this extra gravitational pull on the Earth's tides, spring tides include high tides that are higher and low tides that go below their average.
Neap tide
Diurnal tide
Semi-diurnal tide

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Q20 Jellyfish Jellyfish are an example of which kind of organism?
Phytoplankton
Zooplankton
Many zooplankton can only be seen with the help of a microscope, but jellyfish can be observed with the naked eye. There have even been jellyfish specimens collected that measure more than 120 feet long!
Diatoms
Dinoflagellates

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Q18 Pahoehoe and aa Pahoehoe and a'a are two kinds of what?
Particles
Saturn's moons
Lava
Lava is able to travel long distances, despite being thicker than water. Lava that is more viscous tends to come from explosive eruptions, while lava with low viscosity tends to flow from a volcano like a river.
Energy field types

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