34 Chemistry Trivia Questions (Ranked from Easiest to Hardest)

Updated Date:
January 4, 2024
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Chemistry is a complex and fascinating subject that explores the properties and interactions of matter. From the earliest experiments to modern-day innovations, chemistry has played a critical role in shaping our world and understanding of the natural world. Trivia questions about chemistry can provide a fun and engaging way to test your knowledge and deepen your appreciation for this important and diverse field.

Whether you're a seasoned chemist or just starting to explore the subject, chemistry trivia questions offer a glimpse into the wonders of matter and energy. From the properties of elements and compounds to the processes and reactions that make up our world, these questions can challenge you on the basics of chemical theory, the history of chemical discoveries, and the real-world applications of chemistry.

34 Chemistry Trivia Questions Ranked From Easiest to Hardest (Updated for 2024)

  1. An organic chemist who received in B.A. in Chemistry from Harvard in 1909, and helped identify complex vegetable oils and plant alkaloids, including CBD in 1940, is Roger ______. Fill in the one word blank, also the surname of the 2nd and 6th Presidents of United States.

    Answer: Roger Adams

  2. Also one of the nucleoside bases of DNA, what does the "A" in ATP -- one of the most important molecules in biochemistry -- stand for?

    Answer: adenosine

  3. What A-word means an enzyme found in the body that breaks down starch and glycogen into simple sugars as part of the process of digestion?

    Answer: amylase

  4. Fill in the blank. Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC are lipophilic, otherwise known as ____-soluble.

    Answer: Fat

  5. On the periodic table, Francium is named for the country of France; less obviously, what metallic element gets its name from the old Latin name for what is now France?

    Answer: gallium

  6. What word, once used to describe a medieval predecessor of chemistry, completes the classic 1987 George Soros book title, "The ___ of Finance?"

    Answer: Alchemy

  7. Two different employees of General Electric -- Irving Langmuir (1932) and Ivar Giaever (1973) -- have been awarded the Nobel Prize, one in Physics and one in which other scientific subject?

    Answer: Chemistry

  8. Carbon fixation, reduction, carbohydrate formation, and regeneration are the four basic phases of what photosynthesis cycle that's presumably pretty good friends with a comic strip tiger?

    Answer: Calvin cycle

  9. From 1862 to 1927, the FDA incorporated what scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter into its name? This “C” word can also be used to describe how people get along.

    Answer: chemistry

  10. What six-letter word means an enzyme found in the pancreas that breaks down fats into fatty acids and glycerol or other alcohols?

    Answer: lipase

  11. In chemistry, a cation is a positively charged ion; what is the corresponding five-letter term for a negatively charged ion?

    Answer: anion

  12. Element 30 on the Periodic Table is often found in lotions and preparations to prevent sunburn and windburn. What is the two-letter chemical symbol (not the element's name) for Element 30?

    Answer: Zn

  13. Filtered from the blood by the liver, what orange-yellow pigment is a product of the breakdown of red blood cells, with high levels sometimes manifesting as jaundice?

    Answer: bilirubin

  14. What is the name of chemist Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's redheaded assistant on "The Muppet Show?"

    Answer: Beaker

  15. The law of which 17th century British chemist defines the proportional relationship between the pressure and volume of a gas?

    Answer: Robert Boyle

  16. What alliteratively named song, whose title might describe an event that happens between day and night, is the Chemical Brothers' only hit to make the Billboard Hot 100 in the US?

    Answer: Setting Sun

  17. What American biochemist, who became the first full-time professor of pharmacology ever at John Hopkins in 1893, worked in hormone extraction and founded the “Journal Of Biological Chemistry?” His last name is the same as a famous Biblical murder victim.

    Answer: John Jacob Abel

  18. The chemical formula of water is H2O; the compound H2O2, which can be used in hair bleaches, is typically referred to by what two-word name?

    Answer: hydrogen peroxide

  19. In chemistry, a covalent bond involves sharing of electrons between two atoms. What is the corresponding type of bond in which one atom fully gives electrons to another?

    Answer: ionic

  20. In DNA, the nucleotide adenine pairs with thymine, whereas the nucleotide guanine pairs with what nucleotide abbreviated C?

    Answer: cytosine

  21. As its chemical symbol of Hg indicates, what metallic element, which is liquid at room temperature, was once known as "hydrargyrum?"

    Answer: mercury

  22. "Better things for better living...through chemistry" was once an advertising slogan for what company, which merged with Dow Chemical in 2017?

    Answer: DuPont

  23. Martin Chalfie, an American scientist who got his PhD in neurobiology from Harvard in 1977 , was a co-winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering a fluorescent protein of what color? It is a color often associated with envy, and also Kermit The Frog.

    Answer: Green Fluorescent Protein

  24. After receiving his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University in 1947, Donald J. Cram was a co-winner of the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in host-______ chemistry. Fill in the one word “G” blank, also a word for a person who is invited to another person’s home.

    Answer: Host-Guest Chemistry

  25. Chemistry time! The visible phenomenon of fire is the product of a combustion reaction, in which a fuel and an oxidant react to release heat in addition to what two compounds in gaseous form?

    Answer: Carbon dioxide and water

  26. What is the common name of the colorless, highly pungent gas whose chemical formula is NH3?

    Answer: ammonia

  27. Portland native Linus Pauling is renowned for being one of two people (the other being Marie Curie) to win a Nobel Prize in two different fields. Pauling's first was a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work with chemical bonds; his second Nobel was in what field?

    Answer: Peace

  28. Although Thomas Edison was famously self-educated, he did take a chemistry class at what NYC institution that was famous for giving all its students full-tuition scholarships from 1902 to 2014?

    Answer: Cooper Union

  29. Japanese chemist Akira Yoshino switched from low-yield polyacetylene to a carbonaceous material electrode in 1985, locking in what critical piece of cell phone tech?

    Answer: Lithium-ion battery

  30. First proposed by J.J. Thomson in 1904, a model of the atom in which electrons were embedded in a large positively-charged mass, with no nucleus, was popularly known by what alliterative food nickname?

    Answer: plum pudding

  31. What 6-letter C-word is the name of the polysaccharide substance that makes up the hard outer armor of many insects, arachnids, and crustaceans?

    Answer: chitin

  32. A joint experiment between Dubna and Oak Ridge scientists produced what 117-proton element named for what U.S. state?

    Answer: Tennessine

  33. Former Harvard professors William Lipscomb, Elias Corey, and Martin Karplus have all won Nobel Prizes in what category?

    Answer: chemistry

  34. What 19th-century “P” French chemist discovered the enzyme diastase and the carbohydrate cellulose, leading to further exploration of chemical processes that happened at the cellular level?

    Answer: Anselme Payen

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