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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第153期:基本物质(21)

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The nineteenth century held one last great surprise for chemists. It began in 1896 when Henri Becquerel in Paris carelessly left a packet of uranium salts on a wrapped photographic plate in a drawer. When he took the plate out some time later, he was surprised to discover that the salts had burned an impression in it, just as if the plate had been exposed to light. The salts were emitting rays of some sort.
19世纪给了化学家们最后一个重要的惊喜。这件事始于1896年。亨利·贝克勒尔在巴黎不慎把一包铀盐忘在抽屉里包着的感光板上。过一些时候以后,当他取出感光板的时候,他吃惊地发现铀盐在上面烧了个印子,犹如感光板曝过了光。铀盐在释放某种射线。
居里夫人和镭Considering the importance of what he had found, Becquerel did a very strange thing: he turned the matter over to a graduate student for investigation. Fortunately the student was a recent émigré from Poland named Marie Curie. Working with her new husband, Pierre, Curie found that certain kinds of rocks poured out constantand extraordinary amounts of energy, yet without diminishing in size or changing in any detectable way. Whatshe and her husband couldn't know—what no one could know until Einstein explained things the following decade—was that the rocks were converting mass into energy in an exceedingly efficient way. Marie Curie dubbedthe effect "radioactivity." In the process of their work, the Curies also found two new elements—polonium, which they named after her native country, and radium. In 1903 the Curies and Becquerel were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. (Marie Curie would win a second prize, in chemistry, in 1911, the only personto win in both chemistry and physics.)
考虑到这项发现的重要性,贝克勒尔干了一件很古怪的事:他把这事儿交给一名研究生来调查。说来运气,这位学生恰好是一位新来的波兰移民,名叫玛丽·居里。居里和她的新丈夫皮埃尔合作,发现有的岩石源源不断地释放出大量能量,而体积又没有变小,也没有发生可以测到的变化。她和她的丈夫不可能知道的是——下个世纪爱因斯坦作出解释之前谁也不可能知道的是——岩石在极其有效地把质量转变成能量。玛丽·居里把它称之为“放射作用”。在合作过程中,居里夫妇还发现两种新的元素——钋和铀。钋以她的祖国波兰命名。1903年,居里夫妇和贝克勒尔一起获得了诺贝尔物理学奖。(1911年,玛丽·居里又获得了诺贝尔化学奖;她是既获化学奖又获物理学奖的惟一一人。)
重点单词   查看全部解释    
efficient [i'fiʃənt]
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adj. 效率高的,胜任的
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drawer ['drɔ:ə]
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n. 抽屉,拖曳者,制图员,开票人
(复)dr
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mass [mæs]
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n. 块,大量,众多
adj. 群众的,大规模
 
impression [im'preʃən]
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n. 印象,效果
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decade ['dekeid]
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n. 十年
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jointly ['dʒɔ:intli]
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adv. 共同地,连带地
 
carelessly ['kɛəlisli]
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adv. 粗心大意地,疏忽地
 
certain ['sə:tn]
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adj. 确定的,必然的,特定的
pron.
 
extraordinary [iks'trɔ:dnri]
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adj. 非凡的,特别的,特派的
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radium ['reidiəm]
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n. [化]镭
 
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