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Artist’s rendering of NASA’s New Horizons, which had a close encounter with a certain planet in 2007.

Sunday quiz: Easy like Sunday morning

What has February 28 ever given us?

Sunday quiz: Easy like Sunday morning

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1. February 28 is celebrated as National Science Day in India to mark the discovery of a phenomenon by one of the country’s greatest scientific minds. This person, with his student K.S. Krishnan, studied an effect he had observed while on a ship in 1928. Using a small telescope and a prism, he realised that water molecules could scatter light just as air molecules could, which implied there was inelastic scattering of photons by matter. The effect was named after him and he became the first Asian to win a Nobel Prize in any science. Who was this scientist?

Answer :

C.V. Raman

1. Born on February 28, 1901, Linus Pauling was an American biochemist whose revolutionary work on orbital hybridisation led to the founding of quantum chemistry. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. After the dropping of the atomic bombs by the U.S. in 1945, he became an anti-nuclear activist and led the effort that resulted in the Partial Test Ban Treaty. For this, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. Consequently, what special record does he share with Marie Curie?

Answer :

Nobel Prizes in two different fields

1. On February 28, 1953, Francis and James, two gentlemen who’d been inspired by Linus Pauling’s work and had been working tirelessly over an issue, announced that they’d found an answer. Legend has it that they solved it while sharing a drink at a pub in Cambridge. What was this revolutionary discovery that wouldn’t have been possible without the work of Pauling and Rosalind Franklin?

Answer :

Double helix structure of DNA

1. On February 28, 1832, this person landed at Salvador, Brazil. At 22, he’d spent five hard years on a ship, but now had access to luxurious rainforests. He spent months studying and collecting flatworms, spiders and plants. When he found that the parasitic ichneumon wasp stored caterpillars to be eaten alive by its grubs, he realised it was more evidence against the beneficent design of nature. Who was this person who 20 years later would publish a seminal work that changed biology?

Answer :

Charles Darwin

1. On February 28, 1935, American chemist Wallace Carothers and his assistant at DuPont produced a half-ounce of polymer from hexamethylenediamine and adipic acid, creating polyamide 6-6 — one of the first successful synthetic polymers ever. How better do we know this thermoplastic silky material that can be processed into fibres, films or shapes?

Answer :

Nylon

1. On February 28, 1956, American engineer Jay Wright Forrester was issued a patent for his invention, a multi-coordinate digital information storage device. Known then as ‘magnetic-core memory’, it bridged the gap between vacuum tubes and semiconductors. It led to a type of memory that we’re now familiar with in the context of phones and computers. What is this memory type that’s also the name of the beautiful last (sadly) album by French robot band Daft Punk?

Answer :

Random Access Memory

1. On February 28, 1959, Discoverer 1 was launched from California as part of an American strategic reconnaissance satellite programme. It was the prototype for the KH or ‘KeyHole’ satellites, so called because what they did was like spying into a room through the keyhole. The official name for this programme referred to the gaseous envelope of the sun, but this word recently become more prominent thanks to a major health issue. What was the name of America’s first spy satellite program?

Answer :

Corona

1. On February 28, 2007, New Horizons, NASA’s interplanetary space probe, flew within 2.3 million kilometres of a planet in our solar system. This close encounter gave us a rare glimpse of the planet’s atmosphere, many moons and magnetosphere. Named after the god of the sky and thunder in Roman mythology, which gaseous planet is this?

Answer :

Jupiter

1. On February 28, 1977, Corky became the first animal of her kind to give birth in captivity. Unfortunately, as the public tourist attraction she was housed in wasn’t ready for the birth, the calf died. The resulting observations and studies led to the closure of this attraction, and Corky was shifted to SeaWorld. She remains there to this day, having spent 50 years in captivity. What type of huge animal is Corky?

Answer :

Killer whale

1. On February 28, 2012, neurobiologists from Duke University did what until then had been science fiction. Like a technique exhibited by Vulcans in Star Trek, they linked two rats together over the Internet, which let them share sensory information and solve problems together. By implanting electrodes, what did they link between a rat in the U.S. and one in Brazil?

Answer :

Brain to brain direct linking

Sunday quiz: Easy like Sunday morning

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 8:49:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/sunday-quiz-february-28-2021/article33953821.ece

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