300 Physics Trivia Questions and Answers

What comes to mind when you think of physics? Is it that really fashionable teacher who would always scribble the mole formula on the blackboard, and you never really understood a thing, is it the smartest kid in class who seemed to get every answer right, or is it that assignment that once made you wake up at 3 am to finish up? Whatever the case is, if you took up this daring subject then you sure have a certain memory attached to it.

Engrossing, captivating, and intriguing are among the words we can use to describe this subject. A quick reminder of what physics is.  Physics is the study of heat, light, sound, space, electricity, pressure among many other topics. It is actually one of the science subjects.

Physics Trivia Questions and Answers

We have compiled some physics trivia questions to help you see just how much you can remember from your class.  Students on the other hand are super lucky because these questions will help them revise what they’ve been taught, they’ll be smiling all the way to the exam room.

Click on the “show answer” to see whether you got it right. Take a look! It will certainly be fun.

1. Which Renaissance scientist is credited with the discovery of the pendulum?

Galileo Galilei

2. Where does sound travel faster; water or air?



3. What constant is equivalent to 96,485 coulombs per mole of electrons?



4. What name is given to the science of sound?



5. What is opposite to matter?



6. What is the repeated sound when sound waves bounce off other objects called?



7. Name the SI unit of mass?



8. Why do bubbles pop?​​​​​​​

They dry out from the surrounding air and the remaining surface tension of the water tears the bubble apart


9. What constant is referred to as “The Universe’s Clock”?

Speed of Light


10. What is the name of Isaac Newton’s important law?

Laws of Motion


11. What is the Law of Conservation of Energy?​​​​​​​

The energy of the Universe is constant; it can neither be created or destroyed, but only transferred and transformed


12. To which part of physics does the Archimedes’ Principle refer?



13. Name the instrument used to measure gas pressure?

A manometer


14. What is the unit measurement for the activity of a radioactive source?​​​​​​​

The becquerel (Bq). 1 Bq = 1 disintegration per second


15. What was the first sound-recording device called?



16. Which physicist is more famous for his cat than for his equation?

Erwin Schrodinger


17. If you mix all colors of light do you get black, white, or a rainbow?​​​​​​​



18. What is the term for the capacity of a body or system to do work?



19. Can you name the tube used to produce X-rays?

Coolidge tube


20. How many separate patents did Thomas Edison file?​​​​​​​



21. What is the main form of energy produced by a laser?



22. What is a word used to describe a solid whose arrangement of atoms and molecules has no definite pattern?



23. What does TCP/IP stand for?​​​​​​​

Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol


24. What is the scientific word for push or pull?



25. How are X-rays different to gamma rays in radiation therapy?

They are man-made


26. What’s the highest recorded surface wind speed?​​​​​​​

372 km/h


27. How many watts is one horsepower?

746 W


28.  Can you state the term used to describe an orbit’s farthest point from Earth?

746 W


29. What is the name of the layer of air closest to us in the atmosphere?​​​​​​​



30. What type of lens has a thin middle and makes objects appear smaller?



31. What is the function of a capacitor?

It stores electrical energy


32. True or false – is lightning 3 times hotter than the Sun?



33. Who discovered that a moving magnet generates electric current known as electromagnetic induction?

Michael Faraday


34. For what discovery did Albert Einstein win his first Nobel prize?

The photoelectric effect


35. True or false: When lightning hits a tree, the water inside the tree boils and expands, blowing the tree apart.



36. What liquid is a fuel commonly used in automobiles?



37. Which is the main type of radiation that is emitted when a copper plate is heated to 100 degrees centigrade?

Infrared radiation


38. Is the stratosphere above or below the troposphere?

50km above the troposphere


39. About how fast does sound travel in meters per second?



40. Upon what two factors is the amount of kinetic energy of an object dependent?

Mass and velocity


41. How many volts can an electric eel produce?

Around 500


42. Masses are to Newton’s Gravitational Law as charges are to what?

Coulomb’s Law


43. The discovery of infrared radiation is credited to whom?

William Herschel


44. True or false: The Eiffel Tower is taller in summer than it is in winter.

True, metals expand when heated, causing it to expand with temperature changes


45. What kind of electromagnetic radiation arises only from nuclear excitations?

Gamma Rays

50. Can you state the year in which Max Planck introduced his quantum theory to science?



51. What is the word ‘radar’ an abbreviation for?

Radio Detection and Ranging


52. What measure is used to express reactance in conductors and capacitors?



53. What is the force that allows an object submerged in a fluid to rise to the top of a container?

Buoyant force


54. What year was the sound barrier broken?



55. Who was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Physics?

Maria Sklodowska-Curie


56. The hypothesis that all matter exists out of particles was first formulated by whom?

The Ancient Greeks


57. On the moon, which would hit the ground first if they were dropped from the same height and at the same time: a feather or a bowling ball?

They would hit the ground at the same time


58. How many grams are in a pound?



59. What do we mean by velocity?

measure of speed in a given direction


60. Is it possible to physically stop light from moving?



61. What is the anti-matter equivalent of an electron?



62. Who developed an equation that relates momentum and wavelength?

De Broglie


63. What unit is used to measure the intensity of light?

Candela (cd)


64. What is water in its solid form called?



65.  What is the name for the unit of the optical power of a lens?



66. What does the acronym ‘LASER’ stand for?

Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation


67. What liquid is used as a standard when measuring density?



68. For what discovery did Karl Manne Georg Siegbahn win a Nobel Prize in 1924?

X-Ray Spectroscopy


69. What rock floats in water?



70. What physical constant did Henry Cavendish first determine using two weights and a cantilever?

Gravitational Constant


71. What is the SI unit of heat?



72. Which freezes faster, hot water or cold water?

Cold water


73. What is the distance between two peaks of a wave called?



74. What is the term used to describe the bending of a light ray when it passes between materials of different densities?



75. What is the hardest known substance?



76. After physics, what study did Isaac Newton take up until he published “Principia Mathematica”?



77. Which scientist discovered the photoelectric effect in 1887?

Heinrich Rudolf Hertz


78. What is the speed of light?

300 million meters per second


79. What was originally defined as one 10-millionth of the distance from the equator to the North Pole?



80. What is emitted by the hot metal filament in a cathode ray tube?



81. Does light travel faster through air or water?

Neither, speed of light is constant


82. What is it called when a current skips part of the circuit?

Short Circuit


83.Can you name the phenomenon of light that is responsible for a CDs colorful look when exposed to light?



84. When you mix red and green light, what color light is formed?



85. How much would a 150-pound person weigh at the center of the earth?



86. Can you name the instrument used to communicate by light?



87. The word “force” comes from the Latin word “fortis”, meaning:



88. What is the opening of a lens, which controls the amount of light?



89. Approximately how long does it take for light to travel from the sun to the earth?

8 minutes


90. Your weight tells you how much stuff makes up your body.

False. That is mass!Weight is actually the force of gravity on an object


91. How many quarks are in an electron?



92. Which law states that at a constant temperature, the volume of a fixed mass of gas is inversely proportional to its pressure?

Boyle’s Law


93. What is the name of the force keeping you in your seat on a rollercoaster when it goes upside down?

Centripetal force


94. What are the ends of a bar magnet called?



95. What causes the Aurora Borealis (also known as the Northern Lights)?

The colors are seen when electrical particles from the sun hit the earth’s atmosphere


96. When the roads are wet, sometimes that water reduces friction between the tyres and the tarmac and causes our cars to lose control. What is this called?



97. What is the main form of energy produced by a laser?



98. The quality of a sound wave depends on what?

The shape of the wave


99. Scientists often talk about “Classical Mechanics.” What does this mean?

Describing how things move according to Newton’s Laws

100. Which abbreviation refers to a term that literally means “below red”?



101. In which century was physics discovered?

The fourth century


102. True or false: gravity can be so strong that it even pulls in light.



103. What would you use to measure the mass difference between two like objects?



104. What are the five main laws of physics?

Stefan’s law, Coulomb’s law, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Ohm’s law and Avogadro’s law


105. Which muscle in the human body can produce the most force for its size?

The masseter in your jaw


106. Dimples on golf balls help increase speed by reducing what?



107. Who is the most famous physicist?

Arguably, Albert Einstein


108. Which is the strongest fundamental force in the universe?

Strong nuclear force


109. What is the scale used to measure tornadoes?

The Fujita Scale


110. Which scientist discovered the phenomenon of superconductivity?

K. Onnes


111. True or false: Isaac Newton was Albert Einstein’s great-great-grandfather.



112. What was magnetite called by the early Europeans?



113. After which scientists’ name is the unit of electric current named?

André-Marie Ampere


114. What do we call the study of how objects move when forces act on them?



115. How fast does light travel in one second?

186,000 Miles Per Second


116. For what is a Pitot tube used in physics?

For measuring the velocity of fluids


117. True or false: You must touch an object to apply force to it.



118. If you’re talking about electricity, what does “DC” stand for?

Direct Current


119. If an object is in free fall, what is the only force that is acting upon that object?



120. A rocket is launched at a speed of 10 kilometers per second. How far will it travel in 1/2 minute?

300 km


121. A derivative represents the rate of change of something. What is the derivative of a velocity function with respect to time?



122. BAC stands for:

Blood Alcohol Content


123. What word describes a material which maintains a magnetic field after an external field is removed?



124. What is the name of the science of sound?



125. The density of water in g/mL is?



126. How many coulombs does one ampere-hour equal?

3,600 Coulombs


127. We all know that the Earth is locked into orbit around the sun thanks to gravity, but exactly how far does the force of gravity go?

An infinite distance


128. The rule to calculate momentum is:

Mass X velocity


129. What electrical term is AC an abbreviation for?

Alternating Current


130. What is the SI unit of weight?



131. The density of carbon dioxide gas is greater than that of air. In a container of air, where will carbon dioxide gas be found?

At the bottom of the container


132. Who discovered the rotating magnetic field that is the basis of Alternating Current?

Nikola Tesla


133. Time travel (traveling to the past or future) has been a popular theme in film and fiction. Albert Einstein offered a groundbreaking theory that gives some scientific possibility to actual time travel. What theory is this?

Special Relativity Theory


134. Four-wheel-drive owners let the air out of their tyres before driving on sand. This is because:

The contact area between the tyres and the sand is increased


135. What constant is equivalent to 96,485 coulombs per mole of electrons?



136. You are driving on the freeway when you see a police car on the side of the road. Your speedometer broke, so you don’t know how fast you are going. What formula should you use to find out your speed?



137. The small groups of atoms that behave like small magnets inside a large magnet are called:



138. What are the component parts of a battery called?

Electric Cells


139. If an object is at rest on a flat surface, there is always gravity pulling down and the normal force pushing up. Which force is greater?

They are equal


140. The magnetic field of a magnet:

weakens as the distance from the magnet increases


141. Which insect can indicate the air temperature?



142. What is the number of electrons present in the nucleus of an uranium atom having atomic number 92 and mass number 238?



143. The instrument used to measure current is called?



144. What is the repeated sound when sound waves bounce off other objects called?



145. A popular desk toy consists of a number of metal balls – usually five – suspended by two wires of equal length from a metal frame, lightly touching each other. What is this toy called?

Newton’s Cradle


146. The visible spectrum of light from the longest to shortest wavelength is:

red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet


147. What is the energy of moving parts called?

Mechanical Energy


148. An integral is the product of two quantities. What physical quantity is obtained when you take the integral of a velocity function with respect to time?



149. When light rays travel at a critical angle through an object such as optical fibre, they are:

Totally internally reflected

150. Who was the Clark University physicist responsible for “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes”?

Robert Goddard


151. What Nobel Prize-winning physicist was Niels Bohr working with when he made the discoveries that led to his 1922 Nobel Prize for physics?

Sir Joseph J Thompson


152. There is no sound in a vacuum. True or false?



153. How many joules make one calorie?



154. Bowling pins are shaped in a certain way so they are more stable and less likely to fall over if gently hit. This is because of their center of gravity, which is located where in the pin?

Near the bottom


155. The loudness of sound is measured in:



156. What is a body’s resistance to changes in motion or speed called?



157. What is the name for an object with so much mass that the gravitational force is generally believed to be too great to allow anything, even light, to ‘escape’?

Black hole


158. An example of a second-order lever with fulcrum, load, and effort in that order is:

A wheelbarrow


159. What kind of power do sailboats use?



160. What is the term for the capacity of a body or system to do work?



161. Gravitational acceleration is?

Rate of change of speed of falling objects


162. What method of arranging elements into related groups was invented by Dimitri Mendeleyev?


163. What is the function of a capacitor?

The periodic table


164. What was Albert Einstein’s first Nobel prize all about?

The periodic table


165. A copper plate is heated to 100 degrees centigrade, and then cools by emitting radiation predominantly of which type?

infra-red radiation


166. What physicist remarked: “God is subtle, but he is not malicious”

Albert Einstein


167. The electromotive force induced in a conductor moving at right angles to a magnetic field does not depend upon

the resistance of the conductor


168. What M-word defines anything that occupies space?



169. When dealing with magnetic fields, what does the A stand for in the equation { Torque = NIAB sin 90 }?



170. A car speeds up from 54 km/hr to 90 km/hr in 2 sec. Calculate its acceleration. (Acc. = Change in velocity / Time ; Use 1 km/hr = 5/18 m/s)



171. What do you call a substance containing only one kind of atom?



172. The amount of kinetic energy an object has depends upon what factors?

mass and velocity


173. What teenager began studying physics after he noticed a chandelier swinging during a 1581 earthquake?



174. Whose principle states that an experiment cannot simultaneously determine the exact component of momentum and position?



175. What elementary particle’s antiparticle is the positron?

The electron


176. According to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, what can bend space-time?

An object’s mass


177. What element comes last alphabetically?



178. Who is credited with the discovery of infrared radiation?

William Herschel


179. What radioactive element is extracted from carnotite and pitchblende?



180. What unit is used to measure forces?



181. What American physicist pioneered the theory of “black holes” in 1939?

J. Robert Oppenheimer


182. In which year did Max Planck introduce his quantum theory?



183. What’s a charged atom, with unequal numbers of electrons and protons?

An Ion


184. What is the derivative of the momentum function with respect to time?

net force


185. What theory of physics proposes that energy is not transferred continuously but in discrete amounts?

The quantum theory


186. Professor Robert Millikan won the 1923 Nobel Prize for his work on electrons. What kind of drops did he use to determine the precise charge of an electron?



187. What element was converted to plutonium in the first nuclear reactors?



188. Cobalt-60 therapy machines were the initial cancer treatment modality. What nuclear decay scheme results in the usable emission of radiation for this isotope?

Gamma Decay


189. What acronyms for “Weakly Interacting Massive Particles ” and “Massive Compact Halo Objects” do physicists use to explain dark matter?

Wimps and Machos


190. Most humans can hear the same range of frequencies. What is the term used for this range?

Audible range


191. What’s a single unit of quanta called?

A quantum


192. If the law,’the extension (x) of an object is proportional to the load (F)’, is put into action and portrayed in graphical form, what shape would you initially expect the line to be?



193. What did scientists build in a squash court under a football stadium at the University of Chicago in 1942?

A nuclear reactor


194. In which ancient culture was the hypothesis that all matter exists out of particles first formulated?

The ancient Greek culture


195. What’s the atomic number of hydrogen?



196. To store gamma radioactive substances, a box should be made of which material?



197. What element begins with the letter “k”?



198. Who won a Nobel Prize in 1918 for his work in quantum physics?

Max Planck


199. What F-word is defined in physics as a “nuclear reaction in which nuclei combine to form more massive nuclei”?


200. A Force of 100 N produces an acceleration of 2 m/s/s in a body. Calculate its mass. (Newton’s Second Law)

50 kg

201. What E-word was the first elementary particle to be discovered?

The electron


202. If a 10kg object is pushed with a 20N force and there is a coefficient of friction of 0.4, what will the acceleration be?

0 meters per second squared


203. Which Swedish scientist had a temperature scale named after him?

Anders Celsius


204. Who developed an equation that relates wavelength and momentum?

De Broglie


205. How many colors are there in the spectrum when white light is separated?



206. What is the integral of the force function with respect to time?



207. The discovery of which law provoked the surprised cry ‘Eureka!’?

Archimedes Principle


208. While Karl Manne Georg Siegbahn did work in several areas of physics, what did he specifically win his 1924 Nobel Prize for?

X-Ray Spectroscopy


209. What is measured by the SI unit called a ‘henry’?



210. What is the predominant interaction for megavoltage radiation therapy energies?

Compton Scattering


211. What is the force that opposes the relative motion of two bodies that are in contact?

Compton Scattering


212. What is the study and use of frequencies above 20 khz?



213. What is the SI unit of heat?



214. What is an unchanging position in which forces cancel each other out?



215. The “cosmic microwave background” is a small signal, associated with a temperature of only 2.7 degrees Celsius above absolute zero — but it has huge implications. What theory of astrophysics does this background radiation support?


216. Which physicist’s law states that equal volumes of all gases, measured at the same temperature and pressure, contain the same number of molecules?

Amadeo Avogadro


217. “When an object is bent, stretched or compressed by a ______, the restoring force is directly proportional to the _____ – provided the elastic limit is not exceeded.”



218. What is the ability of fluids to offer resistance to flow?



219. The joule is a derived unit of energy named for the physicist named Joule. What nationality was he?



220. What was invented by Dennis Gabor in 1947, winning him a Nobel prize in 1971?



221. The half-life of isotope X is four days and its initial mass is 32mg. What mass of isotope X will remain after 12 days?

4 mg


222. What is described as an ionized gas with approximately equal numbers of positive and negative charges?



223. In what way is force directly related to potential energy?

The derivative of potential energy is force


224. What name is given to the very serious chain of events which can follow the failure of the cooling system in a nuclear reactor?



225. What current will pass through a circuit of potential difference 200 V with a resistance of 25 Ohms? (Ohm’s Law)

8 A


226. Which electronic device magnifies the strength of a signal?



227. A real image is never created by a) concave lenses b) convex lenses c) concave mirrors d) convex mirrors

Concave lenses and convex mirrors


228. What was the name of the unit of heat now replaced by the joule?



229. Who discovered the photoelectric effect in 1887?

Heinrich Rudolf Hertz


230. What does c represent in the equation e = mc*2?

Speed of light


231. A ballistic pendulum was a device used by police departments to determine the velocity of a bullet. The device consisted of a piece of which material hanging from cords?



232. What is commonly used in a rectifier to convert alternating current to direct current?



233. What is the integral of the force function with respect to displacement?



234. What is a cylindrical coil of wire in which a magnetic field is created when an electric current is passed through it?



235. How is a shadow formed?

By an absence of light behind the object


236. What describes a substance that exists in more than one form, differing in physical rather than chemical properties?



237. In their famous experiment which proved the theories of Niels Bohr, what did James Franck and Gustav Hertz pass electricity through to learn about the energy levels of atoms?



238. Whose ‘unified field theory’ tried to explain the four fundamental forces in terms of a single, unified force?



239. Pair production is a form of interaction between photons of very high energy and matter. What is this pair that is referred to?

Electron and positron


240. IN Britain, how many lines make up the picture on a TV screen?



241. The Planck constant has what dimension?

angular momentum


242. What diverges rays of light, if it is concave?



243. What is defined as ‘load per unit cross-sectional area’?



244. What can be expressed as the number of cycles of vibration occurring per unit of time?



245. Nuclear physicists often speak of the “binding energy” of a nucleus, which sheds light on everything from fission to fusion. What is nuclear binding energy?

The energy needed to split a nucleus into free protons and neutrons


246. What is the product of the mass of a body and its linear velocity?



247. Why is the pressure increased in the car tires after driving it?

The speed of the air molecules increases


248. Which quantity has direction as well as magnitude?

Vector quantity


249. Which Italian became famous for the experiment he conducted with a mercury tube to measure the atmospheric pressure?


250. What is the SI unit of magnetic flux density, named after a Croatian electrical engineer?



251. What is the *standard* unit of measurement for acceleration?



252. What does the abbreviation STP stand for?

Standard Temperature and Pressure


253. What is emitted by the hot metal filament in the cathode ray tube?



254. What is studied in the science of cryogenics?

Very low temperature


255. In an RLC circuit, what does the L stand for?

An inductor


256. What does the acronym maser stand for?

Microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation


257. If 21 kJ of heat energy is supplied to 5 kg of water, what is the increase in the temperature of water?



258. A magnifying glass is what type of lens?



259. The Space Shuttle, when orbiting the earth experiences….

Free fall


260. A person who studies physics is known as a?



261. CDs reflect rainbow colors when exposed to light. Which phenomenon of light is responsible for this?



262. Metals expand when heated and do what when cooled?



263. If an object is on a sloped surface of 45 degrees, in which direction is the normal force?

Perpendicular to the surface


264. What is the first name of the famous scientist who gave us Newton’s three laws of motion?



265. What is the boiling point of water on the Rankine scale?



266. What state of the art computer technology is used to train pilots when wanting to copy the experience of flying an aircraft?

A flight simulator


267. The circus, or flying, trapeze was invented by young acrobat Jules Leotard in the mid 1800s. What was his nationality?



268. Electric power is typically measured in what units?



269. What is the derivative of electric potential with respect to distance?

electric field


270. The most recognized model of how the universe began is known as the?

Big bang


271. What is a generic term for the proton and/or the neutron?



272. Who is the Hubble Space Telescope named after?

Edwin Hubble


273. Which experiment led Jean Perrin to win the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1926?

Brownian Motion


274. The wire inside an electric bulb is known as the what?



275. Although an atom with orbiting electrons may look like a galaxy, they are very different systems operating under different rules. Which statement illustrates a significant difference between the two?

Electrons are not held in orbit by gravity


276. Theoretical physicist James Maxwell was born in what country?



277. The photons emitted in a linear accelerator are Bremsstrahlung X-rays. What does that mean?

They were produced by the slowing down of electrons as they bend around the strong charge of the target nuclei


278. Infrared light has a wavelength that is too long or short to be visible for humans?

Too Long


279. Gauss’s law states that the divergence of the electric field is directly proportional to the charge density. What is the SI unit of the divergence of the electric field?

volts per square-meter


280. What kind of eclipse do we have when the moon is between the sun and the earth?


281. Kinetic energy is defined as half multiplied by mass multiplied by velocity squared. In a closed system, the kinetic energy remains constant. In what type of collision does kinetic energy remain constant?



282. True or false? Iron is attracted by magnets.



283. All things are made of atoms and are generally stable. When an unstable atom decays, which type of particle, or ray, does it NOT give out?



284. What is the earth’s primary source of energy?

The sun


285. What Greek letter is used to denote the physical phenomenon of stress?


286. Do conductors have high or low resistance?



287. The sound made when an aircraft exceeds the speed of sound is called what?

Sonic boom


288. Electric current is typically measured in what units?



289. What is the current in a 5.0 ohm resistor when the potential difference between the ends of the resistor is 2.5 V?

0.50 A


290. A body of mass 10 kg accelerates from 20 meters per second to 30 m per s in just 1 second. What’s the magnitude of the force applied?



291. Earth is located in which galaxy?

The Milky Way galaxy


292.  Speed is to velocity as …

distance is to displacement


293. For the hydrogen atom, which series describes electron transitions to
the N=1 orbit, the lowest energy electron orbit?

Lyman series


294. Super String Theory was crafted in the 1960s to try to incorporate both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics in one theory. What condition does the theory require of reality?

There are 10 dimensions of space-time


295. In the SI system of measure, what is the unit of capacitance?



296. Which elementary particle is also known as the ‘positive electron’?



297. For an object moving in a uniform circular motion, the direction of the instantaneous acceleration vector is?

directed radially inward


298. The world’s largest and heaviest skyscraper pendulum, or tuned mass damper as it is more commonly known, is located in a famous building that was the world’s tallest from 2004 to 2010. Which building is it?

Taipei 101


299. What is the derivative of the work function with respect to time?



300. What is one use of optical technology?

Cable TV

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