AP European History : Science and Technology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP European History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Science And Technology

Nicholas Copernicus developed which of the following scientific models?

Possible Answers:

a model describing the Earth's gravitational pull

the heliocentric model of the universe

the Ptolemaic model of planetary spheres

an elliptical model of planetary motion

the geocentric model of the universe

Correct answer:

the heliocentric model of the universe

Explanation:

Copernicus wrote On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres in the sixteenth century, and this work was published after his death. This work described a heliocentric model of the universe, in which the sun was posited as the center of the universe, with the planets revolving around it. Copernicus's model implicitly disputed the accuracy of the prevailing scientific model, the Ptolemaic or geocentric model, in which the earth was the center of the universe. Also, note that Copernicus's model did not recognize that planetary motion was elliptical.

Example Question #2 : Science And Technology

The emergence of the scientific method and the preeminence of inductive reasoning in the Scientific Revolution are owed to the writings of __________.

Possible Answers:

Aristotle

Francis Bacon

Socrates

Plato

Tycho Brahe

Correct answer:

Francis Bacon

Explanation:

Sir Francis Bacon was an English scientist in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries who pioneered the scientific method and greatly emphasized the importance of inductive reasoning as opposed to deductive reasoning. His development of the scientific method is one of the most important steps of the Scientific Revolution and contributed to the massive growth in human understanding of chemistry and physics in the centuries that followed. In the scientific method, the first step is to gather facts and then to conduct unbiased experiments designed to test a certain theory; this differed greatly from the earlier approach of running experiments and then postulating a theory to match the outcome of the test.

Example Question #3 : Science And Technology

The Papacy was primarily __________ to the progress of the Scientific Revolution because it __________.

Possible Answers:

ambivalent . . . presented little threat to the church’s hold on the lives of the majority of Europeans

hostile . . . challenged the church’s beliefs on creation and the nature of the universe

friendly . . . undermined the power of secular rulers and brought mankind closer to the “heavens”

friendly . . . reinforced the church’s beliefs on creation and the nature of the universe

hostile . . . threatened to liberate the working classes of Europe

Correct answer:

hostile . . . challenged the church’s beliefs on creation and the nature of the universe

Explanation:

Throughout the Scientific Revolution, the Papacy was extremely hostile to any developments that challenged the church’s established doctrine on creation and the nature of the universe. This was particularly true of any revelations to do with astronomy, to the point where Copernicus waited until after his death to have his work on the heliocentric model of the solar system published, and Galileo lived in constant fear of punishment and execution.

Example Question #4 : Science And Technology

Innovations in the understanding of magnetism during the Scientific Revolution made __________ easier and far more reliable.

Possible Answers:

cartography

navigation

geometry

manufacturing

agriculture

Correct answer:

navigation

Explanation:

In 1600, William Gilbert published his groundbreaking work on magnetism, specifically in regard to the magnetic nature of the Earth’s atmosphere. This made navigation and the use of compasses far easier and more reliable and allowed European explorers and traders to push further afield and to have much greater faith in the security of their journeys.

Example Question #5 : Science And Technology

The discovery that the planets move in elliptical orbits is attributed to __________.

Possible Answers:

Isaac Newton

Nicholas Copernicus

Tycho Brahe

Galileo

Johannes Kepler

Correct answer:

Johannes Kepler

Explanation:

All of these people made notable contributions to mankind’s understanding of the nature of the solar system and the universe, but the discovery that planets move in elliptical orbits, as opposed to perfect circles as was initially believed, was made by Johannes Kepler in the seventeenth century.

Example Question #6 : Science And Technology

Descartes’ work on analytical geometry laid the foundation for __________.

Possible Answers:

Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone

Darwin’s theory of natural selection

Newton’s development of calculus

All of these answers

Bacon’s work on the scientific method

Correct answer:

Newton’s development of calculus

Explanation:

Analytical geometry is the study of geometry that employs a coordinate system and marries geometry and algebra in a way previously not understood by European mathematicians. The work was pioneered by René Descartes in his work La Géométrie. It laid the foundation for the invention of calculus a few decades later by Isaac Newton and Wilhelm Leibniz.

Example Question #7 : Science And Technology

Who is credited with first hypothesizing that the light travels faster than the speed of sound, but does not in fact travel instantaneously?

Possible Answers:

Isaac Newton

Galileo

René Descartes

Tycho Brahe

Edward Burke

Correct answer:

Galileo

Explanation:

For much of history, from the time when Aristotle lived until the Scientific Revolution, it was assumed that light travelled instantaneously. However, Galileo postulated, correctly as it turns out, that all we can deduce is that light travels faster than the speed of sound, but does not necessarily travel instantaneously.

Example Question #8 : Science And Technology

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is most famous for his work on __________.

Possible Answers:

cartography

telescopes

mining safety

microscopes

compasses

Correct answer:

microscopes

Explanation:

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is considered to be the world’s first microbiologist. He greatly improved the capabilities of microscopes, and in doing so, opened up the world of the microscopic to human examination for the first time in human history. Among other things, he is believed to be the first human being to observe single-celled organisms, bacteria, yeast, and blood cells.

Example Question #9 : Science And Technology

On the Fabric of the Human Body is the magnum opus of __________.

Possible Answers:

René Descartes

Andreas Vesalius

Evangelista Torricelli

Anders Celsius

William Harvey

Correct answer:

Andreas Vesalius

Explanation:

On the Fabric of the Human Body is one of the most influential works on human anatomy in European history. It was written by Andreas Vesalius in the mid-sixteenth century and refuted the long held belief in Galen’s understanding of the “humors” and human blood.

Example Question #10 : Science And Technology

Robert Boyle is primarily known for his innovations in the field of __________.

Possible Answers:

biology

astronomy

alchemy

chemistry

mathematics

Correct answer:

chemistry

Explanation:

Robert Boyle was an Irish chemist who lived during the seventeenth century. He is most widely known for his innovations in the field of chemistry, particularly Boyle’s Law—an equation conveying the inverse relationship between pressure and volume of gas.

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