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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第215期:把铅撵出去(4)

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Buoyed by the success of leaded gasoline, Midgley now turned to another technological problem of the age. Refrigerators in the 1920s were often appallingly risky because they used dangerous gases that sometimes leaked. One leak from a refrigerator at a hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1929 killed more than a hundred people. Midgley set out to create a gas that was stable, nonflammable, noncorrosive, and safe to breathe. With an instinct for the regrettable that was almost uncanny, he invented chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs.
加铅汽油获得成功,米奇利深受鼓舞,现在又把注意力转向那个时代的另一个技术问题。20世纪20年代,冰箱使用有毒而危险的气体,时常泄漏,风险很大。1929年,俄亥俄州克利夫兰有家医院发生冰箱泄漏事故,造成100多人死亡。米奇利着手发明一种很稳定、不易燃、不腐蚀、吸入很安全的气体。凭着办事几乎从不后悔的本能,他发明了含氯氟烃。
臭氧层被破坏Seldom has an industrial product been more swiftly or unfortunately embraced. CFCs went into production in the early 1930s and found a thousand applications in everything from car air conditioners to deodorant sprays before it was noticed, half a century later, that they were devouring the ozone in the stratosphere. As you will be aware, this was not a good thing.
很少有哪个工业产品如此快速而又不幸地被大家接受。20世纪30年代初,含氯氟烃投入生产,结果派上了一千种用场,从汽车空调器到除臭喷雾剂什么都离不开它。半个世纪以后人们才发现,这玩意儿正吞噬着平流层里的臭氧。你将会明白,这不是一件好事情。
Ozone is a form of oxygen in which each molecule bears three atoms of oxygen instead of two. It is a bit of a chemical oddity in that at ground level it is a pollutant, while way up in the stratosphere it is beneficial, since it soaks up dangerous ultraviolet radiation. Beneficial ozone is not terribly abundant, however. If it were distributed evenly throughout the stratosphere, it would form a layer just one eighth of an inch or so thick. That is why it is so easily disturbed, and why such disturbances don't take long to become critical.
臭氧是氧的一种形式,每个分子含有三个而不是通常的两个原子。它的化学特性有点儿古怪:它在地面上是一种有害物质,在高高的平流层却是一种有益物质,因为它吸收危险的紫外辐射。然而,有益的臭氧的量并不很大。即使均匀地分布在平流层里,它也只能形成大约两毫米厚的一层。这就是它很容易受扰动的原因。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
swiftly ['swiftli]
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adv. 迅速地,敏捷地
 
nonflammable [.nɔn'flæməbl]
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adj. 不燃烧的
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radiation [.reidi'eiʃən]
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n. 辐射,放射线
 
abundant [ə'bʌndənt]
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adj. 丰富的,充裕的
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regrettable [ri'gretəbl]
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adj. 可叹的,可惜的,抱歉的
 
gasoline ['gæsəli:n]
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n. 汽油
 
instinct ['instiŋkt]
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adj. 充满的
n. 本能,天性,直觉
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uncanny ['ʌn'kæni]
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adj. 神秘的,不可思议的
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refrigerator [ri'fridʒə.reitə]
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n. 冰箱
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beneficial [.beni'fiʃəl]
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adj. 有益的,有利的
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