Physical science


1. Many question the ability of the Department of Energy to do the good science needed to ensure that Yucca Mountain is suitable and developed appropriately. Detail the “question” that many have.

2. How might changes in climate affect the relative distribution of organisms in an ecosystem? Provide an example.

3. How might the law of unintended consequences play a role in the effects of legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions? What industries will be affected? How might this affect your daily life?

4. One of the problems of understanding the workings of ecosystems is that it is not possible to hold everything constant and change only one variable.

Why is this true? What effects might this have on the interpretation of observations or experiments?

5. Geology has been called an integrated science, because it calls on several scientific disciplines to help explain features and processes of Earth. Explain how geologists have used other sciences to answer the following questions:

a. How old is a piece of rock?

b. How is heat transferred from Earth’s deep interior to the surface?

c. How does Earth’s magnetic field change over time?

d. What is the structure of Earth’s interior?

e. What is the topography of the seafloor?

6. If there were a serious (8 on the Richter scale) earthquake in California, how might it effect Washington? How might that effect Idaho and Wyoming

7. Some advances in our knowledge have been made possible through better equipment, such as Hubble’s discoveries using the 100-inch Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson. What other major discoveries in cosmology have relied on improvements in existing apparatus?

8. How can we talk about the evolution of stars over billions of years when human beings have been observing stars for only a few thousand years?

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