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Week 3 Quiz: Dark matter and dark energy

The due date for this quiz is Fri 2 Jan 2015 4:00 AM PET.

Welcome to the quiz for week 3, on dark energy and dark matter. Good luck!

In accordance with the Coursera Honor Code, I (Juan Carlos Vega Oliver) certify that
the answers here are my own work.

Question 1
What is the conclusion of the underdetermination argument?

If there are two theories T 1 and T 2 with the same empirical consequences, then neither theory
can be true.
That no two distinct theories can have precisely the same empirical consequences.

That scientists will never in fact favour one theory T 1 over another theory T 2 if both have the
same empirical consequences.

That one cannot be justified in believing some theory T 1 if there is another theory T 2 which has
the same empirical consequences.

Question 2
What did the discovery of the anomalous perihelion of the planet Uranus reveal?

That some of the main theoretical hypotheses concerning the laws of Newtonian mechanics
were false and required revision.

That some of the auxiliary hypotheses concerning the masses and orbits of other planets in the
Solar system were false and required revision.

Help

That either some of the main theoretical hypotheses concerning the laws of Newtonian
mechanics or some of the auxiliary hypotheses concerning the number of planets in the Solar
system were false and required revision.

That both the main theoretical hypotheses concerning the laws of Newtonian mechanics and
the auxiliary hypotheses concerning the number of planets, their masses and orbits were false
and required revision.

Question 3
Amongst others, which of the following criteria govern theory choice, according to Kuhn? (Pick
three)
Rationality (the theory should make logical sense)
Accuracy (the theory is in agreement with experimental evidence)
Consistency (the theory is consistent with other accepted scientific theories)
Testability (the theory is amenable to empirical investigation)
Fruitfulness (the theory should be able to predict novel phenomena)

Question 4
Friedmanns equation is (dR/dt)2 8GR2/3 = K. But what, in essence, does it tell us?
It tells us that the total energy in the universe decreases over time.
It tells us that potential energy is not real energy.
It tells us that the total energy in the universe increases over time.
It tells us that kinetic plus potential energy is a constant.

Question 5
Why are Ia supernovae useful to cosmologists?

Since Ia supernovae all have very similar energy outputs, and the energy observed from an
object lessens with distance, they can be used to measure distances across space.

Since Ia supernovae all have high energy outputs they light up surrounding objects.
Since Ia supernovae all have low energy outputs they do not obscure surrounding objects.

Since Ia supernovae all have very similar energy outputs, and the energy observed from an
object increases with distance, they can be used to measure distances across space.

Question 6
Why is the universe less dense now than in the past?
Because matter and energy have disappeared from the universe over time.
Because the universe has contracted over time.
Because the universe has expanded over time.

Because energy has seeped from the observable universe into other unobservable
dimensions.

Question 7
Which of the following provides evidence for the existence of dark matter?
It explains why the universe is so dark, despite being filled with matter.
It can be observed using powerful optical telescopes.
It can be observed using powerful radio telescopes.
It explains why the universe is currently contracting.

It explains certain observable gravitational effects, such as the speed with which the outskirts of
galaxies rotate.

Question 8
Why do many cosmologists find the LTB model unattractive as an alternative to dark energy?

It violates the Galilean principle, i.e. the assumption that we occupy a special position at the
centre of the universe.
It is simply a less mathematically elegant solution.

It violates the Copernican principle, i.e. the assumption that we dont occupy any special or
privileged position in the universe.
It promotes the idea that the universe is fundamentally disorganised.

Question 9
What is Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND)?
A rival theory to the Friedmann-Lematre-Robertson-Walker models.
A rival theory to dark energy and dark matter that rejects general relativity.

A rival theory to dark matter which explains galaxies flat rotation curves by assuming that
Newtons second law needs be modified below a certain threshold.
A rival theory to dark energy that explains the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Question 10
What kind of indirect empirical support might there be for the concordance model?

The testimony of experts (i.e. the majority of contemporary cosmologists support the
concordance model).

The success of classical Newtonian dynamics and general relativity in other areas of science
(i.e. the current cosmological model is embedded in a larger theoretical framework via which
empirical support accrues).
The failure of classical Newtonian dynamics within a certain relevant interval.
Testable empirical consequences for the concordance model.

In accordance with the Coursera Honor Code, I (Juan Carlos Vega Oliver) certify that
the answers here are my own work.

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