How Well Do You Know The Basic Mechanics Of Physics?

By: Becky Stigall
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
How Well Do You Know The Basic Mechanics Of Physics?
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Ok, so physics isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if it's yours, then you've landed on the right quiz. Let's get started to find out how much of the basic laws of physics you remember.

If you know even the smallest bit of information about physics, you probably think about a few pieces of the puzzle, namely Sir Isaac Newton, laws, motion, and matter. If you've gotten that far, your physics teacher probably did his or her job, even if you weren't particularly interested in the subject. Although, unless you studied physics as a separate course, you probably didn't get much farther than these few concepts.

Physics is the study of matter and how it moves. And, although the most famous story about physics, the story of how Isaac Newton happened upon the basic laws of physics after being clunked on the head by an apple, is most certainly more than a bit embellished, the basics make for a great way to remember the concepts of the subject. 

And, even though you swore that you would never use that "stuff" after you graduated high school, you may realize now that what you learned in physics class helps you understand the world around you that much better.

Let's find out how much you know about the basic mechanics of physics.

What term describes how objects move?
Classical mechanics
Classical mechanics may also be called Newtonian mechanics. Isaac Newton did a lot of work with objects and movement.
Biomedicine
Psychology
Psychiatry

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Classical mechanics might involve the study of ________?
Biology
Planetariums
Force
Force is a factor in physics. It can change how an object behaves.
Medicine

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Classical mechanics might involve the study of ________?
Umami
Friction
Friction is a factor in physics. It describes how objects move against one another.
Weather
Music

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Which of the following scientists helped develop the concepts of physics?
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was one of the fathers of modern physics. He was born in the German Empire.
Queen Elizabeth
Brad Pitt
George Washington

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When you use physics in new technology, it's called what?
Psychology
Psychiatry
Social interaction
Applied physics
Applied physics is the development of something for practical use. There's a lot of engineering involved.

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Physics uses what other discipline to explain concepts?
Psychology
Math
Physics uses a lot of math. Many physics equations are very complex.
Sociology
Medicine

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Classical mechanics studies how objects do what?
Move
Classical mechanics assumes that objects are under pressure from certain forces. Isaac Newton studied classical mechanics.
Think
See
Taste

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Which of the following would NOT be studied in classical mechanics?
Solids
Liquids
Gases
Psychology
The study of solids, liquids and gases are all subsets of classical mechanics. Psychology is not involved in the study of physics.

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An object that is picking up speed is doing what?
Accelerating
An object that is picking up speed is accelerating. Physics may study how objects accelerate during a set period of time.
Decelerating
Flying
Motionless

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Classical mechanics might involve the study of ________?
Momentum
Momentum is a factor in physics. It is a combination of mass and velocity.
Psychology
Psychiatry
Personal behavior

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Who helped develop the principles of physics?
Sigmund Freud
Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton helped develop classical mechanics. He was born in 1643 (or 1642, by the old Julien calendar).
Oprah Winfrey
Cal Ripken

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An object that is slowing down is doing what?
Accelerating
Decelerating
An object that is slowing down is decelerating. Physics may study how objects decelerate during a set period of time.
Flying
Motionless

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Who helped develop the concepts of physics?
Richard Phillips Feynman
Feynman was a theoretical physicist. He studied quantum mechanics.
Bob Barker
George Michael
Sigmund Freud

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Which of the following is NOT something that classical mechanics would study?
Planets
Objects
Baseballs
Taste
Classical mechanics studies objects of all sizes and shapes. Taste is not about movement.

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Which physicist watched an apple fall from a tree?
George Washington
Isaac Newton
Some experts insist the apple story is a myth. Some of Newton's contemporaries insisted the story was true.
King Edward V
John Marbury

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The uncertainty principle may also be called _________ _________?
Heisenberg Uncertainty
Heisenberg uncertainty may also be called Heisenberg's indeterminacy principle. It is involved in the study of quantum mechanics.
Psychology principle
Popular principle
Massive uncertainty

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What is needed to change how an object moves?
Color
Taste
Force
Forces act on an object to change how it moves. An object without force doesn't move.
Sound

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Physics is the study of which of the following?
Matter and energy
Physics is the study of how matter and energy interact. There are certain laws that govern these interactions.
Dinosaurs
History
Nationalities

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Which of the following terms describes how much of an object exists?
Color
Taste
Sound
Mass
Mass is a measurement of an object. Objects vary in mass.

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Which of the following is NOT a form of classical mechanics?
Newtonian mechanics
Lagrangian mechanics
Hamiltonian mechanics
Psychological mechanics
Newtonian mechanics, Lagrangian mechanics and Hamiltonian mechanics are all forms of classical mechanics.

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When was Isaac Newton's "Principia" first published?
1687
Isaac Newton's "Principia" was first published in 1687. The full title of the book, in English, is Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. He wrote in Latin.
1925
2001
1009

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Force is measured in units called _________?
Isaacs
Newtons
Force is measured in units called Newtons. Yup, they're named after Isaac Newton.
Figs
Cookies

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Which law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction?
The first law of motion
The second law of motion
The third law of motion
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction - as in, when you push against the ground, it pushes back, so you can jump. This third law was developed by Isaac Newton.
The fourth law of motion

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In the equation F = ma, the letter "F" means _______?
Fear
Factor
Fancy
Force
The letter "F" stands for force. The full equation is: force equals mass times acceleration.

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Gravity increases along with which of the following?
Mass
Gravity increases along with mass. Distance decreases gravity.
Distance
Color
Object type

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Moving in a squiggly line is what type of movement?
Simple movement
Complex movement
Moving in a squiggly line describes a complex movement. Pitching a baseball is a complex movement because the trajectory curves.
High/low movement
Weird movement

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The term "classical mechanics" was developed when?
The early 20th century
Isaac Newton helped lead the way for classical mechanics. It wasn't until the 20th century that it was given a name.
The late 800s
The Greek Revival
The future

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Who developed the theory that terrestrial gravity extends to the moon?
Benjamin Franklin
Abraham Lincoln
Isaac Newton
It took Newton twenty years to fully conceive his theory. He began studying the theory in the late 1600s.
Elizabeth Taylor

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Which term best describes the smallest amount of something that interacts with something else?
Mass
Heat
Chemistry
Quantum
The plural of quantum is quanta. It describes a physical property.

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"An object in motion will stay in motion" describes what law?
The first law of motion
"An object in motion will stay in motion" describes the first law of motion. This law was developed by Isaac Newton.
The second law of motion
The third law of motion
The fourth law of motion

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In physics, energy is known as what kind of quantity?
Scalar
Energy, like mass, is a scalar quantity. It can be represented by a real number.
Color
Equation
Fire

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Which law states that force is equal to mass times acceleration?
The first law of motion
The second law of motion
Force is equal to mass times acceleration - that's the second law of motion. This law was developed by Isaac Newton.
The third law of motion
The fourth law of motion

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Moving in a straight line is what type of movement?
Simple movement
Moving in a straight line is a simple movement. Simple movements may be fast or slow.
Complex movement
Straight movement
Flying movement

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What mathematical process did Isaac Newton work on at the same time he worked on the laws of physics?
Algebra
Addition
Subtraction
Calculus
Both Newton and Leibniz are credited with inventing modern calculus. Calculus studies continuous change.

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Which of the following describes how something is measured at a certain point in time?
Instantaneous measurement
Instantaneous measurement measures something at that exact moment. An average would include more than one point in time.
Constant measurement
Average velocity
Average measurement

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