ACT Reading Practice Questions Set 1

The following passage is from "The Biggest Thing in Physics," by Gabrielle Walker (Discover Magazine, 8/13/07).

  1. The passage states that according to the standard model, the interaction between fundamental particles and the Higgs field is what gives particles:

    A. charge
    B. spin
    C. mass
    D. velocity

  2. The main point of the introductory paragraph is that:

    A. Switzerland is a nation friendly to cutting-edge physics research.
    B. The Large Hadron Collector is unlikely to have practical applications.
    C. Physicists are unlocking the secrets of the universe.
    D. The Large Hadron Collector is a large, expensive collaborative project.

  3. As discussed in the passage, the overall purpose of the LHC is to:

    I. Settle the question of the existence of the Higgs boson
    II. Further test the standard model
    III. Set a new standard for accelerator operations

    A. I only
    B. II and III
    C. I and II
    D. I, II and III

  4. One useful metaphor for the Higgs field, according to one British theoretician, is to compare the Higgs field to:

    A. a field of snow
    B. a sheet of rubber
    C. an infinite smooth wall
    D. a motionless film of oil

  5. The Higgs field differs from electromagnetic or gravitational fields in that the Higgs field:

    A. is measurable on the macroscopic scale
    B. only is observable between subatomic particles
    C. has the same intensity everywhere
    D. has a direct correlation to radiant energy output

  6. One of the properties of the Higgs boson is that it must be extremely heavy, more so than the heavier subatomic particles such as:

    A. protons and electrons
    B. neutrons and photons
    C. protons and photons
    D. neutrons and protons

  7. What unusual hazard is the passage's author warned of when touring the facility?

    A. stray particles
    B. bicycles
    C. falling wrenches
    D. scientists

  8. Given the LHC's intended mission and capabilities, what event could the reader infer would have the farthest reaching implications for physics as a discipline?

    A. discovering the Higgs boson
    B. discovering a lighter particle
    C. not discovering the Higgs boson
    D. not discovering a lighter particle

  9. In the extended metaphor used to describe the Higgs field, what metaphoric equivalent is used to describe the fundamental attribute that provides the quality of mass to objects?

    I. snowshoes
    II. skis
    III. skates

    A. I only
    B. I and II
    C. I, II and III
    D. II and III

  10. In addition to the international nature of CERN, the body that runs the LHC, the multinational nature of the project is reinforced by the fact that the LHC is physically located in the countries of:

    A. Switzerland and France
    B. Switzerland and Italy
    C. France and Italy
    D. France and Germany

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Last Updated: 11/18/2013

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