SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 153: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 153

16. Which of the following is NOT a correct pairing of physicist and field in which he made significant contributions?

A. Newton — gravitation
B. Einstein — relativity
C. Faraday — electricity and magnetism
D. Coulomb — quantum mechanics
E. Bohr — atomic structure

Correct Answer: D


Eliminate A because Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation is reason to believe that Newton worked on gravitation. Eliminate B because Einstein may be best known for relativity, so he did work on relativity. Eliminate C because the unit of capacitance is named after Faraday, so Faraday must have worked on electricity and magnetism. For D, though, Coulomb’s Law and the unit of electric charge are both named after Coulomb, which suggests that he significantly predated quantum mechanics and worked on the fundamentals of classical electrostatics; in fact, he was most active in the late 1700s, well before the quantum mechanics of the 1920s. Eliminate E because the Bohr model of an atom is definitely a product of Bohr’s work on atomic structure.

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