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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第41期:埃文斯牧师的宇宙(5)

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But Zwicky was also capable of insights of the most startling brilliance. In the early 1930s, he turned his attention to a question that had long troubled astronomers: the appearance in the sky of occasional unexplained points of light, new stars.
然而,兹威基聪明过人,具有敏锐的洞察力。20世纪30年代初,他把注意力转向一个长期困扰天文学家的问题:天空中偶尔出现而又无法解释的光点--新的恒星。
Improbably he wondered if the neutron—the subatomic particle that had just been discovered in England by James Chadwick, and was thus both novel and rather fashionable—might be at the heart of things. It occurred to him that if a star collapsed to the sort of densities found in the core of atoms, the result would be an unimaginably compacted core.
令人难以置信的是,他怀疑问题的核心是否在于中子--英国的詹姆斯•查德威克刚刚发现的,因而是新奇而时髦的亚原子粒子。他突然想到,要是恒星坍缩到原子的核心那种密度,便会变成一个极其坚实的核。
埃文斯牧师的宇宙.jpgAtoms would literally be crushed together, their electrons forced into the nucleus, forming neutrons. You would have a neutron star. Imagine a million really weighty cannonballs squeezed down to the size of a marble and—well, you're still not even close.
原子实际上已经被压成一团,它们的电子不得不变成核子,形成了中子。这样就形成了一颗中子星。想像一下,把100万枚很重的炮弹挤压成一粒弹子的大小--哎呀,这还差得远呢。
The core of a neutron star is so dense that a single spoonful of matter from it would weigh 200 billion pounds. A spoonful! But there was more. Zwicky realized that after the collapse of such a star there would be a huge amount of energy left over—enough to make the biggest bang in the universe. He called these resultant explosions supernovae. They would be—they are—the biggest events in creation.
一颗中子星核的密度如此之大,里面的一调羹物质会重达900亿千克。只是一调羹啊!然而,不仅如此。兹威基意识到,这样的一颗恒星坍缩以后会释放出大量的能量--足以产生宇宙里最大的爆炸。他把这种由此产生的爆炸叫做超新星。它们会是--实际上也是--创建宇宙过程中最大的事件。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
brilliance ['briljəns]
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n. (色彩)鲜明,光辉,辉煌
 
collapse [kə'læps]
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n. 崩溃,倒塌,暴跌
v. 倒塌,崩溃,瓦解
联想记忆
unexplained
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adj. 未经解释的;未经说明的;不清楚的
 
nucleus ['nju:kliəs]
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n. 核,核心,细胞核,原子核
 
fashionable ['fæʃənəbl]
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adj. 流行的,时髦的
联想记忆
core [kɔ:]
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n. 果心,核心,要点
vt. 挖去果核
 
startling ['stɑ:tliŋ]
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adj. 惊人的 动词startle的现在分词
 
troubled ['trʌbld]
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adj. 动乱的,不安的;混乱的;困惑的
联想记忆
universe ['ju:nivə:s]
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n. 宇宙,万物,世界
联想记忆
capable ['keipəbl]
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adj. 有能力的,足以胜任的,有 ... 倾向的
 
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