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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第75期:事物的测定(23)

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Although he did sometimes venture into society—he was particularly devoted to the weekly scientific soirées of the great naturalist Sir Joseph Banks—it was always made clear to the other guests that Cavendish was on no account to be approached or even looked at. Those who sought his views were advised to wander into his vicinity as if by accident and to "talk as it were into vacancy." If their remarks were scientifically worthy they might receive a mumbled reply, but more often than not they would hear a peeved squeak (his voice appears to have been high pitched) and turn to find an actual vacancy and the sight of Cavendish fleeing for a more peaceful corner.
有时候,他也大胆涉足社交界--尤其热心于每周一次的由伟大的博物学家约瑟夫·班克斯举办的科学界聚会--但班克斯总是对别的客人讲清楚,大家决不能靠近卡文迪许,甚至不能看他一眼。那些想要听取他的意见的人被建议晃悠到他的附近,仿佛不是有意的,然后"只当那里没有人那样说话"。如果他们的话算得上是在谈论科学,他们也许会得到一个含糊的回答,但更经常的情形是听到一声怒气冲冲的尖叫(他好像一直是尖声尖气的),转过身来发现真的没有人,只见卡文迪许飞也似的逃向一个比较安静的角落。
科学实验.jpgHis wealth and solitary inclinations allowed him to turn his house in Clapham into a large laboratory where he could range undisturbed through every corner of the physical sciences—electricity, heat, gravity, gases, anything to do with the composition of matter. The second half of the eighteenth century was a time when people of a scientific bent grew intensely interested in the physical properties of fundamental things—gases and electricity in particular—and began seeing what they could do with them, often with more enthusiasm than sense.
卡文迪许钱又多,性格又孤僻,正好有条件把他在克拉彭的房子变成个大实验室,以便不受干扰地探索物理学的每个角落--电、热、引力、气体以及任何跟物质的性质有关的问题。18世纪末叶,是爱好科学的人们对基本物质--尤其是气体和电--的性质发生浓厚兴趣的时代,又是开始知道怎么对付它们的时代,但往往是热情有余,理智不足。
In America, Benjamin Franklin famously risked his life by flying a kite in an electrical storm. In France, a chemist named Pilatre de Rozier tested the flammability of hydrogen by gulping a mouthful and blowing across an open flame, proving at a stroke that hydrogen is indeed explosively combustible and that eyebrows are not necessarily a permanent feature of one's face. Cavendish, for his part, conducted experiments in which he subjected himself to graduated jolts of electrical current, diligently noting the increasing levels of agony until he could keep hold of his quill, and sometimes his consciousness, no longer.
在美国,本杰明·富兰克林不顾生命危险在大雷雨里放风筝,这是很有名的。在法国,一位名叫皮拉特尔·罗齐耶的化学家含了一口氢喷在明火上,以测试氢的可燃性,其结果是证明了氢确实是易爆物质,眉毛也不一定是人的脸上一个永久的特征。卡文迪许也做了许多实验,他曾经逐步加大在自己身上的电击强度,仔细体会逐渐厉害的痛苦,直到只拿得住手里的羽毛管,但有时候再也留不住自己的知觉。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
wander ['wɔndə]
想一想再看
vi. 徘徊,漫步,闲逛,迷路,蜿蜒
vt.
 
stroke [strəuk]
想一想再看
n. 笔画,击打,一笔(画)连续的动作,中风,
联想记忆
gravity ['græviti]
想一想再看
n. 重力,严重,庄重,严肃
联想记忆
diligently ['dilidʒəntli]
想一想再看
adv. 勤奋地
 
quill [kwil]
想一想再看
n. 羽茎,大翎毛,鹅毛笔,(豪猪等动物的)刺 ,纬管
联想记忆
agony ['ægəni]
想一想再看
n. 极度的痛苦,挣扎
联想记忆
flame [fleim]
想一想再看
n. 火焰,热情
v. 燃烧,面红,爆发
 
fundamental [.fʌndə'mentl]
想一想再看
adj. 基本的,根本的,重要的
n. 基本原
 
current ['kʌrənt]
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n. (水、气、电)流,趋势
adj. 流通的
联想记忆
enthusiasm [in'θju:ziæzəm]
想一想再看
n. 热情,热心;热衷的事物
联想记忆
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