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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第144期:基本物质(12)

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Soon after taking up his position, Davy began to bang out new elements one after another—potassium, sodium,magnesium, calcium, strontium, and aluminum or aluminium, depending on which branch of English you favor.
上任不久,戴维开始宣布发现一种又一种新的元素:钾、钠、锰、钙、锶和铝。
The confusion over the aluminum/aluminium spelling arose because of some uncharacteristic indecisiveness on Davy's part. When he first isolated the element in 1808, he called it alumium. For some reason he thought better of that and changed it to aluminum four years later. Americans dutifully adopted the new term, but many British users disliked aluminum, pointing out that it disrupted the -ium pattern established by sodium, calcium, and strontium, so they added a vowel and syllable.
对aluminum/aluminium的拼写产生混淆的原因是因为戴维犹豫不决。当他在1808年首次分离此元素时,称其为alumium。四年后,出于某些原因,他觉得把它的名字改成aluminum更好。美国人则完完全全地接受了这个新术语,但很多英国使用者却不喜欢aluminum这个名字,指出其破坏了由sodium, calcium, and strontium建立起的-ium的形式,因此他们在aluminum的基础上加了一个元音和一个音节。
铝棒He discovered so many elements not so much because he was serially astute as because he developed an ingenious technique of applying electricity to a molten substance—electrolysis, as it is known. Altogether he discovered a dozen elements, a fifth of the known total of his day. Davy might have done far more, but unfortunately as a young man he developed an abiding attachment to the buoyant pleasures of nitrous oxide. He grew so attached to the gas that he drew on it (literally) three or four times a day. Eventually, in 1829, it is thought to have killed him.
他发现那么多种元素,与其说是因为他搞清了元素的排列,不如说是因为他发明了一项巧妙的技术:把电流通过一种熔融状态的物质——就是现在所谓的电解。他总共发现了12种元素,占他那个时代已知总数的五分之一。戴维本来会作出更大的成绩,但不幸的是,他是个年轻人,渐渐沉迷于一氧化二氮所带来的那种心旷神怡的乐趣。他简直离不开那种气体,一天要吸入三四次。最后,在1829年,据认为就是这种气体断送了他的性命。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
buoyant ['bɔiənt]
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adj. 有浮力的,心情愉快的,趋于上涨的
 
calcium ['kælsiəm]
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n. 钙
联想记忆
eventually [i'ventjuəli]
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adv. 终于,最后
 
confusion [kən'fju:ʒən]
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n. 混乱,混淆,不确定状态
联想记忆
isolated ['aisəleitid]
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adj. 分离的,孤立的
 
technique [tek'ni:k]
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n. 技术,技巧,技能
 
astute [əs'tju:t]
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adj. 机敏的,精明的,狡猾的
 
branch [brɑ:ntʃ]
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n. 分支,树枝,分店,分部
v. 分支,分岔
 
pattern ['pætən]
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n. 图案,式样,典范,模式,型
v. 以图案
 
attachment [ə'tætʃmənt]
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n. 附件,附著,附属物,依恋,忠诚,依赖
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