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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第233期:马斯特-马克的夸克(5)

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The intention of the collider was to let scientists probe "the ultimate nature of matter," as it is always put, by re-creating as nearly as possible the conditions in the universe during its first ten thousand billionths of a second. The plan was to fling particles through a tunnel fifty-two miles long, achieving a truly staggering ninety-nine trillion volts of energy. It was a grand scheme, but would also have cost $8 billion to build (a figure that eventually rose to $10 billion) and hundreds of millions of dollars a year to run.
这台对撞机的意图是:让科学家们重建尽可能接近于宇宙最初十万亿分之一秒里的情况,以探索“物质的最终性质”(老是这么说的)。该计划要把粒子甩进一条84公里长的隧道,获得实在令人吃惊的99万亿瓦能量。这是个宏伟的计划,但建设费用高达80亿美元(最后增加到100亿美元),每年的运行费还要花上几亿美元。
In perhaps the finest example in history of pouring money into a hole in the ground, Congress spent $2 billion on the project, then canceled it in 1993 after fourteen miles of tunnel had been dug. So Texas now boasts the most expensive hole in the universe. The site is, I am told by my friend Jeff Guinn of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "essentially a vast, cleared field dotted along the circumference by a series of disappointed small towns."
这也许是历史上把钱倒进地洞的最好例子。美国国会为此花掉了22亿美元,然后在建成一条22公里长的隧道以后取消了这项工程。现在,得克萨斯人可以为拥有一个全宇宙代价最高的地洞而感到自豪。我的朋友、《价值连城的堡垒》的作者杰夫·吉恩对我说:“那实际上是一大片空地,周围布满了一连串失望的小城镇。”
对撞机Since the supercollider debacle particle physicists have set their sights a little lower, but even comparatively modest projects can be quite breathtakingly costly when compared with, well, almost anything. A proposed neutrino observatory at the old Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota, would cost $500 million to build—this in a mine that is already dug—before you even look at the annual running costs. There would also be $281 million of "general conversion costs." A particle accelerator at Fermilab in Illinois, meanwhile, cost $260 million merely to refit.
超级对撞机化为泡影以后,粒子物理学家们的眼界放低了点。但是,即使是比较一般的项目的成本也可能相当惊人,要是与,哎呀,几乎任何项目相比的话。有人建议在南达科他州莱德的一座废矿──霍姆斯特克矿──建个中微子观察站,其成本就高达5亿美元,还不算每年的运转费用。而且,还要花2.81亿美元的“一般改建费”。与此同时,伊利诺伊州费尔米莱布的一个粒子加速器仅更新材料就要花费2.6亿美元。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
conversion [kən'və:ʃən]
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n. 转变,改变信仰,换位
联想记忆
costly ['kɔstli]
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adj. 昂贵的,代价高的
联想记忆
essentially [i'senʃəli]
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adv. 本质上,本来
 
comparatively [kəm'pærətivli]
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adv. 比较地,相对地
 
merely ['miəli]
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adv. 仅仅,只不过
 
vast [vɑ:st]
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adj. 巨大的,广阔的
n. 浩瀚的太
 
intention [in'tenʃən]
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n. 意图,意向,目的
联想记忆
observatory [əb'zə:və.tri]
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n. 天文台,气象台,了望台
联想记忆
figure ['figə]
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n. 图形,数字,形状; 人物,外形,体型
v
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ultimate ['ʌltimit]
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n. 终极,根本,精华
adj. 终极的,根本
 
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