Can you tell fact from fiction? Take the relativity quiz.

CORRECT ANSWERS: 0

Relativity helps us understand how the universe ticks. Without an understanding of it, quantum physics, atomic energy and particle smashers would all be impossible. Science still has a lot to learn about relativity, but what about you?

start quiz

Question 1 of 20

E=mc2 came from Einstein's special theory of relativity, giving birth to the atomic age.

fact
fiction
almost fact: E=mc2 came from Einstein's special theory of relativity, but it only applied to gravity.

... It's a fact! This famed equation, which gave birth to the atomic age, was published as part of Einstein's special theory of relativity.

next

Question 2 of 20

Einstein's general theory of relativity was published in 1905.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Einstein's theory of relativity was a two-parter, and both were published in 1916.

... Einstein's theory of relativity was a two-parter. The general theory of relativity was published in 1916, 11 years after the special theory of relativity.

next

Question 3 of 20

The fact that the universe is expanding was announced for the first time by Edward Hubble.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Edward Hubble proved the universe was expanding, but he was the third person to do so.

... Edward Hubble discovered the universe is expanding by measuring redshifts in distant galaxies. Could this be why a telescope is named after him?

next

Question 4 of 20

The big crunch is the theory that the universe will one day stop expanding and eventually collapse in on itself.

fact
fiction
almost fact: The big crunch is actually the theory that the Milky Way will consume our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda.

... Also known as the closed universe scenario, the aptly named big crunch theory explains that the universe will throw itself into reverse and eventually re-collapse.

next

Question 5 of 20

Einstein's eight field questions were published in his general theory of relativity.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Einstein actually proposed 12 field questions in his general relativity theory.

... Einstein wrote 10 field questions. They were used to prove, among other things, the existence of black holes.

next

Question 6 of 20

Physicists used emitter clocks to discover that time moves faster at higher elevations.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Physicists used nuclear clocks to discover that time moves faster at higher elevations.

... Tick-tock, it's atomic clocks! They're the most accurate in the world and have shown that time passes a tad bit quicker at higher elevations.

next

Question 7 of 20

Traveling at the speed of light would, in theory, allow for human time travel.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Even if we could travel at the speed of light, it would be impossible to time travel.

... Although we have yet to master this skill, it's theoretically possible to time travel if we could move at the speed of light.

next

Question 8 of 20

A gravitational wave is a change in the shape or curvature of space-time.

fact
fiction
almost fact: The name is an odd choice because the wave actually refers to right angles, not a curvature.

... Space-time can change with a wave. It occurs when two huge moving masses interact, causing waves to ripple outward from the source.

next

Question 9 of 20

Cosmic mirages are another name for gravitational lenses.

fact
fiction
almost fact: What a silly thought. Cosmic mirages are another name for constellations.

... Gravitational lensing produces distortions, which can magnify or multiply images. Hence the name cosmic mirage.

next

Question 10 of 20

Weak lensing occurs when light from a galaxy passes another massive galaxy, galaxy cluster or dark-matter concentration.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Light does fly by the galaxies, but it's called intermediate lensing.

... It's true! Weak lensing occurs when light from a galaxy passes another massive galaxy, galaxy cluster or dark-matter concentration.

next

Question 11 of 20

J1614-2230 is the largest neutron star discovered to date.

fact
fiction
almost fact: J1614-2230 is actually the third largest neutron star discovered to date, but it's the brightest of the bright.

... While it could use a catchier name, J1614-2230 is the largest neutron star we've discovered so far. It's 20 times more massive than our sun!

next

Question 12 of 20

Quasars are extremely bright. Some look like they're blinking, but they're actually emitting light in pulses.

fact
fiction
almost fact: A quasar that blinks is actually called a pulsar.

... This one's fiction! While quasars are very bright, it's neutron stars that look like they're winking.

next

Question 13 of 20

German physicist Max Planck first proposed quantum theory.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Actually, Max Planck proposed the idea of quantum leaping.

... It's a fact! Max Planck first proposed quantum theory, and Albert Einstein built upon his theory to establish the field of quantum physics.

next

Question 14 of 20

Light is not a long, continuous wave. It consists of tiny particles called protons.

fact
fiction
almost fact: It all depends on intensity. Light can be a constant stream or be broken into units of photons, depending on how bright it is.

... It's a fact. Light consists of thousands and thousands and thousands (keep counting) of protons.

next

Question 15 of 20

H.G. Wells wrote "The Time Machine," which was published in 1890. In it, a man travels 800 years into the future to see the fate of the Earth.

fact
fiction
almost fact: H.G. Wells did write "The Time Machine," but it was published in 1899. Many sci-fi fans refer to it as the definitive novel on time travel.

... H.G. Wells did write it, but "The Time Machine" was published in 1895.

next

Question 16 of 20

It seems odd, but could it be true that a ship zipping through space at warp speed would cause a black hole?

fact
fiction
almost fact: It's proven that traveling at warp speed is impossible. Black holes are caused by imploding galaxies.

... Black holes are the result of the death of a massive star. While it's fun to think of a ship ripping a huge hole through space, it's impossible.

next

Question 17 of 20

Using Einstein's equations on gravity, German physicist Karl Schwarzschild proved the existence of black holes.

fact
fiction
almost fact: It was Edward Hubble, not Karl Schwarzschild, who found a solution and proved the existence of black holes.

... Karl Schwarzschild found a solution to one of the gravity equations in Einstein's general theory of relativity and used this equation to prove the existence of black holes.

next

Question 18 of 20

We don't know everything there is to know about time, but we do know this: It only moves forward and everything moves at the same speed.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Actually, time can move in several directions, but it's true that its speed always remains constant.

... Like everything in life, time is relative. It speeds up or slows down depending on how fast one particular object is moving relative to another object.

next

Question 19 of 20

Albert Einstein supported the findings that the universe is expanding from the moment they were announced and wrote about it in his paper called the Cosmological Constant.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Einstein believed the universe was constantly expanding and contracting. That's what his Cosmological Constant theory was all about.

... Actually, the Cosmological Constant was Einstein's theory on why the universe isn't expanding, but is static. He later recanted this theory.

next

Question 20 of 20

The U.N. created a special agency, nicknamed "Atoms for Peace," to promote the responsible use of atomic energy technology.

fact
fiction
almost fact: The U.N created an agency to promote safe use of atomic technologies, but it was called Physicists for Responsible Atomic Energy Use (PRAEU).

... In 1957, the U.N. created the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), also known as "Atoms for Peace."

results

More Curiosity

The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth

The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth

When you're surrounded by cubicles and concrete, it's easy to forget that we live on a planet packed full of breathtaking natural beauty, so take a trip with us as we explore 10 of the very best the Earth has to offer.

Top 10 Memorable TV Moments Ever

Top 10 Memorable TV Moments Ever

From The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show to the latest breaking news, TV makes more memories than there are viewers. Here are 10 of the most talked-about broadcasts in television history.

ADVERTISEMENT