Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
First - time Visitors: Please visit Site Map and Disclaimer. Use "Back" to return here.


  1. Calendar reform was of great importance in the Middle ages because of its role in setting the date of:
    1. Christmas
    2. Epiphany
    3. Pentecost
    4. All Saint's Day
    5. Easter
  2. The feast above is astronomically determined because it is linked in turn to this Jewish feast:
    1. Purim
    2. Passover
    3. Yom Kippur
    4. Bar Mitzvah
    5. Kosher
  3. In Ptolemy's conception, the looping motions of the planets were caused by the planet traveling on a small circle (the epicycle) which traveled in turn on a large circle called:
    1. orbit
    2. ellipse
    3. equant
    4. hypercycle
    5. deferent
  4. Once Copernicus advanced his idea that the earth is a planet, it was easy to lay out the relative sizes of the planets' orbits. The ____________ corresponded to the orbit of the planet:
    1. ellipse
    2. deferent
    3. equant
    4. epicycle
    5. hyperccycle
  5. Tycho's role in the development of the laws of planetary motion was to contribute: (Note: more than one answer may apply, but one is clearly superior to all the others)
    1. good telescopes
    2. political patronage
    3. accurate data
    4. money
    5. protection
  6. Why the answer above is correct:
    1. You can't do science without money
    2. You need telescopes to measure the planets accurately
    3. Kepler's life was in danger from the Church
    4. Kepler was too ill to survive without protection
    5. Lots of people had money and connections; only Tycho had data
  7. Kepler discovered that the true shape of a planet's orbit is a(n):
    1. ellipse
    2. deferent
    3. circle
    4. epicycle
    5. cardioid
  8. In Infinitely Reasonable, Burke notes that Kepler devoted his attention to problems other than astronomy. One problem of Kepler's described in the text was:
    1. trajectory of cannonballs
    2. land surveying
    3. loads on cathedral domes
    4. volume of barrels
    5. deciphering lost languages
  9. In Infinitely Reasonable, Burke devotes a lengthy discussion to the role of this mathematician and philosopher in bridging the gap between Kepler and Newton:
    1. Ptolemy
    2. Stevin
    3. LaPlace
    4. Leibniz
    5. Descartes
  10. The Alfonsine Tables were calculated to predict the motions of_________________
    1. The tides
    2. Ocean currents
    3. Cannonballs in flight
    4. Weather
    5. The planets
  11. This astronomer first used a telescope on the heavens.
    1. Newton
    2. Galileo
    3. Kepler
    4. Copernicus
    5. Tycho Brahe
  12. This astronomer, who spent much of his life as a refugee, discovered elliptical orbits.
    1. Newton
    2. Copernicus
    3. Kepler
    4. Galileo
    5. Tycho Brahe
  13. This astronomer had the best data about 1600 AD, but couldn't devise a theory to fit it. He was also rich, eccentric, and had lost part of his nose in a duel.
    1. Tycho Brahe
    2. Newton
    3. Kepler
    4. Galileo
    5. Copernicus
  14. This astronomer first published the theory that the Earth goes around the Sun.
    1. Newton
    2. Kepler
    3. Galileo
    4. Copernicus
    5. Tycho Brahe
  15. This mathematician discovered gravity and calculus
    1. Kepler
    2. Galileo
    3. Tycho Brahe
    4. Giordano Bruno
    5. Newton
  16. Why we need leap year
    1. it corrects errors introduced by daylight savings time
    2. the Trilateral Commission insists on it
    3. it keeps the calendar companies in business
    4. it fits economic cycles better
    5. there aren't a whole number of days in the year
  17. Flamboyant playboy with a lavish lifestyle and a gold nosepiece
    1. Newton
    2. Kepler
    3. Galileo
    4. Tycho Brahe
    5. Copernicus
  18. The period of a planet is related to its
    1. size
    2. mass
    3. distance from the sun
    4. number of moons
    5. astrological significance
  19. Kepler's First Law is
    1. Planets move in elliptical orbits
    2. A line from the planet to the sun sweeps out equal areas in equal times
    3. Period cubed is proportional to distance squared
    4. An object in motion remains in motion
    5. Anything that can go , will go
  20. Kepler's Second Law is
    1. Planets move in elliptical orbits
    2. Period squared is proportional to distance cubed
    3. An object at rest remains at rest
    4. A line from the planet to the sun sweeps out equal areas in equal times
    5. Energy is always conserved
  21. Kepler's Third Law is
    1. Planets move in elliptical orbits
    2. Anything that can go , will go
    3. A line from the planet to the sun sweeps out equal areas in equal times
    4. Energy and mass are interchangeable
    5. Period squared is proportional to distance cubed
  22. Kepler's mother was charged with
    1. murder
    2. robbery
    3. prostitution
    4. heresy
    5. witchcraft
  23. Kepler originally pictured the planets' orbits being governed by
    1. numerical patterns
    2. the perfect solids
    3. a force within the sun
    4. the stars
    5. their mythological significance
  24. Why wasn't 2000 a leap year?
    1. to defeat the Y2K problem
    2. we forgot
    3. to correct gradual errors in the calendar
    4. century years are never leap years
    5. milennium years are never leap years
  25. How did religious groups react to the Gregorian calendar reform?
    1. Catholic countries adopted it; Protestant countries resisted
    2. Protestant countries adopted it; Catholic countries resisted
    3. Everyone adopted it simultaneously
    4. Everyone resisted it because of a belief that tinkering with the year was
    5. The plan was dropped
  26. September comes from Latin "septem," meaning seven, but it's the ninth month. Blame this person for it:
    1. Kepler
    2. Pope Gregory
    3. Nero
    4. Julius Caesar
    5. Alexander the Great
  27. Kepler's Third law says period squared is proportional to distance cubed, or p x p ' d x d x d. An asteroid four times as far from the Sun as Earth would circle the sun in __________ years
    1. four
    2. one
    3. sixteen
    4. 64
    5. eight
  28. Shakespeare worked a reference to this astronomer into Hamlet
    1. Newton
    2. Kepler
    3. Galileo
    4. Tycho Brahe
    5. Copernicus
  29. What bodies obey Kepler's Laws?
    1. only objects in our solar system
    2. all objects orbiting another object
    3. planets but not artificial satellites
    4. planets but not stars
    5. planets but not comets or asteroids
  30. The last countries to adopt the modern (Gregorian) calendar were
    1. The Scandinavian countries
    2. France and Germany
    3. English colonies
    4. Latin American countries
    5. Greece and Russia
  31. What did Galileo do?
    1. came up with the idea the earth was round
    2. came up with the idea the earth goes around the sun
    3. discovered the exact shape of planets' orbits
    4. discovered gravity
    5. popularized and explained the ideas of Copernicus
  32. Giordano Bruno is often said to have been burned at the stake for claiming the earth goes around the sun. Actually, he:
    1. tried to assassinate the Pope
    2. used Copernicus' ideas as a framework for his brand of mysticism
    3. led a peasant uprising
    4. led the Protestant Reformation
    5. Wrong
  33. Giordano Bruno spent many years in Protestant northern Europe, out of reach of the Church. How did they capture him?
    1. Papal secret agents kidnapped him
    2. He was arrested and turned over by the French
    3. He went back to Italy to try to convert the Pope
    4. His ship was captured at sea
    5. He took a wrong road and ended up in Catholic territory
  34. How can Galileo's work be a "dialogue" if it has three characters?
    1. The Greek prefix "dia" is different from "di"
    2. It's a misnomer
    3. A later writer added a third character
    4. A printer gave it the wrong title
    5. His enemies gave it the title to embarrass him
  35. This religious leader was a harsh critic of Copernicus
    1. Pope Pius V
    2. John Calvin
    3. Giordano Bruno
    4. Martin Luther
    5. Martin Luther King
  36. Copernicus is the first great scientific figure to come out of this country:
    1. France
    2. Spain
    3. Portugal
    4. Switzerland
    5. Poland
  37. Although his court was in Prague, Tycho was actually:
    1. Italian
    2. Greek
    3. Welsh
    4. Spanish
    5. Danish
  38. The perfect motion in the heavens was believed to be
    1. elliptical
    2. circular
    3. in a straight line
    4. spiraling toward the sun
    5. heading away from the sun
  39. How did scholars in the Middle Ages view the shape of the earth?
    1. it was unknown
    2. it was a flat disk
    3. it was round
    4. it was flat and longer in the east-west direction
    5. it was infinitely large
  40. According to Ptolemy, the size of the earth is
    1. miniscule compared to the distance to the stars
    2. large compared to the distance to the stars
    3. bigger than the sun
    4. bigger than the distance to the moon
    5. unknowable

Click here to return to Physical Geology Test Bank Index
Click here to return to Professor Dutch's home page

Created January 3, 1997; Last Update 14 December 2009

Not an official University Web page