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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第160期:爱因斯坦的宇宙(3)

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Gibbs is perhaps the most brilliant person that most people have never heard of. Modest to the point of near invisibility, he passed virtually the whole of his life, apart from three years spent studying in Europe, within a three-block area bounded by his house and the Yale campus in New Haven, Connecticut. For his first ten years at Yale he didn’t even bother to draw a salary. (He had independent means.) From 1871, when he joined the university as a professor, to his death in 1903, his courses attracted an average of slightly over one student a semester. His written work was difficult to follow and employed a private form of notation that many found incomprehensible. But buried among his arcane formulations were insights of the loftiest brilliance.
吉布斯是个很杰出的人物,但大多数人也许没有听说过。他行为检束,很少抛头露面。除了去欧洲搞了三年研究以外,他的一辈子差不多都是在一个三个街区的范围之内度过的:一边是他的家,一边是耶鲁大学在康涅狄格州纽黑文的校园。在耶鲁大学的最初十年里,他连工资都懒得去领。(他有另外的收入。)从1871年起,他成为该大学的一名教授,直到1903年去世。在此期间,每学期选他的课的学生平均只有一名。他写的东西晦涩难懂,经常使用自己发明的符号,许多人觉得简直是天书。但是,在那些神秘的公式深处,隐藏着最英明、最深刻的见解。
爱因斯坦In 1875–78, Gibbs produced a series of papers, collectively titled On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances, that dazzlingly elucidated the thermodynamic principles of, well, nearly everything—“gases, mixtures, surfaces, solids, phase changes ... chemical reactions, electrochemical cells, sedimentation, and osmosis,” to quote William H. Cropper. In essence what Gibbs did was show that thermodynamics didn’t apply simply to heat and energy at the sort of large and noisy scale of the steam engine, but was also present and influential at the atomic level of chemical reactions. Gibbs’s Equilibrium has been called “the Principia of thermodynamics,” but for reasons that defy speculation Gibbs chose to publish these landmark observations in the Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, a journal that managed to be obscure even in Connecticut, which is why Planck did not hear of him until too late.
1875-1878年期间,吉布斯写出了一系列论文,编成了《论多相物质的平衡》的集子。该书出色地阐述了近乎一切热力学原理——用威廉·H.库珀的话来说,包括"气体、混合物、平面、固体、相移......化学反应、电化电池、沉淀以及渗透"。归根结底,吉布斯想要表明,热力学不仅适用于蒸汽机这样的庞大而又嘈杂的范围里的热量和能量,而且在化学反应的原子层面上也同样存在,而且影响很大。吉布斯的《平衡》一直被称为"热力学原理",但出于无法猜测的原因,吉布斯情愿将这些具有划时代意义的见解发表在《康涅狄格州艺术与科学院学报》上,那是一份即使在康涅狄格州也毫无名气的杂志。这就是为什么普朗克直到很晚的时候才听说他的名字的原因。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
speculation [.spekju'leiʃən]
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n. 沉思,推测,投机
联想记忆
bother ['bɔðə]
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v. 使恼怒,使不安,烦扰,费心
n. 烦扰,
联想记忆
modest ['mɔdist]
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adj. 谦虚的,适度的,端庄的
联想记忆
scale [skeil]
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n. 鳞,刻度,衡量,数值范围
v. 依比例决
 
essence ['esns]
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n. 本质,精髓,要素,香精
 
arcane [ɑ:'kein]
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adj. 神秘的,秘密的,鲜为人知的
联想记忆
osmosis [ɔz'məusis]
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n. 渗透,渗透性,潜移默化
联想记忆
quote [kwəut]
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n. 引用
v. 引述,举证,报价
联想记忆
influential [.influ'enʃəl]
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adj. 有权势的,有影响的
n. 有影响力的
 
academy [ə'kædəmi]
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n. 学院,学术,学会
 
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