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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第204期:威力巨大的原子(18)

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As it was, the Europeans had their hands full trying to understand the strange behavior of the electron. The principal problem they faced was that the electron sometimes behaved like a particle and sometimes like a wave. This impossible duality drove physicists nearly mad. For the next decade all across Europe they furiously thought and scribbled and offered competing hypotheses. In France, Prince Louis-Victor de Broglie, the scion of a ducal family, found that certain anomalies in the behavior of electrons disappeared when one regarded them as waves.
实际上,欧洲人当时忙得不亦乐乎,试图搞清电子的古怪表现。他们面临的主要问题是,电子有时候表现得很像粒子,有时候很像波。这种令人难以置信的两重性几乎把物理学家逼上绝境。在此后的10年里,全欧洲的物理学家都在思索呀,乱涂呀,提出互相矛盾的假设呀。在法国,公爵世家出身的路易-维克多·德布罗意亲王发现如果把电子看做是波,那么电子行为的某些反常就消失了。
波动The observation excited the attention of the Austrian Erwin Schrodinger, who made some deft refinements and devised a handy system called wave mechanics. At almost the same time the German physicist Werner Heisenberg came up with a competing theory called matrix mechanics. This was so mathematically complex that hardly anyone really understood it, including Heisenberg himself ("I do not even know what a matrix is ," Heisenberg despaired to a friend at one point), but it did seem to solve certain problems that Schrodinger's waves failed to explain. The upshot is that physics had two theories, based on conflicting premises, that produced the same results. It was an impossible situation.
这一发现引起了奥地利人埃尔文·薛定谔的注意。他巧妙地做了一些提炼,设计了一种容易理解的理论,名叫波动力学。几乎同时,德国物理学家维尔纳·海森伯提出了一种对立的理论,叫做矩阵力学。那种理论牵涉到复杂的数学,实际上几乎没有人搞得明白,包括海森伯本人在内(“我连什么是矩阵都不知道。”海森伯有一次绝望地对一位朋友说),但似乎确实解决了薛定谔的波动力学里一些无法解释的问题。结果,物理学有了两种理论,它们基于互相冲突的前提,但得出同样的结果。这是个令人难以置信的局面。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
observation [.ɔbzə'veiʃən]
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n. 观察,观察力,评论
adj. 被设计用来
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impossible [im'pɔsəbl]
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adj. 不可能的,做不到的
adj.
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certain ['sə:tn]
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adj. 确定的,必然的,特定的
pron.
 
solve [sɔlv]
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v. 解决,解答
 
duality [dju:'æləti]
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n. 二元性;[物]二象性
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decade ['dekeid]
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n. 十年
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deft [deft]
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adj. 敏捷熟练的,灵巧的
 
complex ['kɔmpleks]
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adj. 复杂的,复合的,合成的
n. 复合体
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understand [.ʌndə'stænd]
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vt. 理解,懂,听说,获悉,将 ... 理解为,认为<
 
mechanics [mi'kæniks]
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n. 力学,机械学,(技术的,操作的)过程,手法
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