Tough Trivia, 6/24/21

Following up yesterday’s question, I’ve got more laws to ask you about. These are from fiction (or, mostly, famous fictioneers). Can you name:
Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics
Benford’s Law of Controversy
Clarke’s Three Laws
Finagle’s Law
O’Toole’s corollary of Finagle’s Law
Hofstadter’s law
Sturgeon’s Law


Yesterday’s question: Mensa has an annual team trivia competition called Culture Quest; a slew of questions on a variety of subjects, sometimes very interesting. However, the only question I remember is one that really ticked me off. A bunch of years ago, the question said “Define these three chemical laws: Boyle’s Law, Charles’s Law, Cole’s Law.” Well, we had Boyles and Charles right off the bat (one of us was a chemist), but Coles? You’re probably guessing, and you’re probably right: the correct answer was “shredded cabbage salad.” Funny, sure, but telling us it was a “chemical law” was what annoyed me. So I always try to make sure I don’t do things like that when I’m writing questions.

However, that question has inspired today’s (and no, no cabbage salad answers): define the following named chemical laws: Avogadro’s Law, Boyle’s Law, Charles’s Law, Dalton’s Law, Faraday’s Law, Graham’s Law, Henry’s Law, and the Ideal Gas Law.

The answers are:

Avogadro’s Law: V/n = k, or, equal volumes of gas under identical temperature and pressure will contain equal numbers of particles

Boyle’s Law: PV = P(1)V(1), or, the pressure exerted by a given mass of an ideal gas is inversely proportional to its volume.

Charles’s Law: V = kT, or, when the pressure on a sample of gas is held constant, the temperature in Kelvin is in proportion to the volume.

Dalton’s Law: p(total) = ∑p(i), or, the pressure of a mixture of gases is equal to the sum of the partial pressures of the component gases

Faraday’s Law: m ∝ Q ⇒ m/Q = Z, or, the weight of any element liberated during electrolysis is proportional to the quantity of electricity passing through the cell and equivalent to the weight of the element.

Graham’s Law: r ∝ 1 / √d, or, the rate of diffusion of a gas is inversely proportional to the square root of its molecular mass.

Henry’s Law: H^cc = RTH^cp, or, the solubility of a gas is proportional to the pressure applied to the gas.

Ideal Gas Law: PV = nRT, or, the state of an ideal gas is determined by its pressure, volume, and temperature.


Ian’s Tough Trivia is a daily feature of this blog (Monday’s category is History; Tuesday is Arts; Wednesday is Science; Thursday is Entertainment; and Friday is Grab Bag). Each day, I post a tough question, as well as the answer to the previous day’s question. Simply comment on this post with your answer. I’ll approve the comments after the next question is posted. Sure, you can probably find the answers by searching the web, but what’s the fun in that?

And if you’ve got a favorite trivia question—or even just a topic for which you’d like to see a question—let me know! Reader participation is warmly encouraged.

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