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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第234期:马斯特-马克的夸克(6)

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Particle physics, in short, is a hugely expensive enterprise—but it is a productive one. Today the particle count is well over 150, with a further 100 or so suspected, but unfortunately, in the words of Richard Feynman, "it is very difficult to understand the relationships of all these particles, and what nature wants them for, or what the connections are from one to another."
总之,粒子物理学是个花钱很多的事业──但又是个收获巨大的事业。今天,粒子的数量已经大大超过150种,还有100种左右被怀疑存在。但不幸的是,用理查德·费曼的话来说:“很难搞清所有这些粒子的关系,大自然要它们干什么,彼此有什么联系。”
Inevitably each time we manage to unlock a box, we find that there is another locked box inside. Some people think there are particles called tachyons, which can travel faster than the speed of light. Others long to find gravitons—the seat of gravity. At what point we reach the irreducible bottom is not easy to say.
每打开一个盒子的时候,我们总是发现里面还有一个紧闭的盒子。有的人认为存在超光速粒子,其运动速度超过光速。有的渴望找到引力子──引力的根子。我们刨根问底儿已经刨到什么程度,现在还很难说。
粒子Carl Sagan in Cosmos raised the possibility that if you traveled downward into an electron, you might find that it contained a universe of its own, recalling all those science fiction stories of the fifties. "Within it, organized into the local equivalent of galaxies and smaller structures, are an immense number of other, much tinier elementary particles, which are themselves universes at the next level and so on forever—an infinite downward regression, universes within universes, endlessly. And upward as well."
卡尔·萨根在《宇宙》一书中说,要是你钻进一个电子深处,你会发现它本身就是一个宇宙,使你回想起20世纪50年代的那些科幻故事。“里面,大量小得多的别的粒子组成了相当于当地的星系和较小的结构,它们本身就是下一层次的宇宙,如此永远下去──一个逐步往里推进的过程,宇宙中的宇宙,永无尽头──往上也是一个样。”
For most of us it is a world that surpasses understanding. To read even an elementary guide to particle physics nowadays you must now find your way through lexical thickets such as this:
对于我们大多数人来说,这是个不可想像的世界。如今,即使看一本有关粒子物理学的初级指南,你也必须克服语言方面的重重障碍,比如:
重点单词   查看全部解释    
organized ['ɔ:gənaiz]
想一想再看
v. 组织
 
contained [kən'teind]
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adj. 泰然自若的,从容的;被控制的 v. 包含;遏制
 
cosmos ['kɔzmɔs]
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n. 宇宙
(复数)cosmos或cosmos
联想记忆
regression [ri'greʃən]
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n. 复原,逆行,退步
 
productive [prə'dʌktiv]
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adj. 能生产的,有生产价值的,多产的
联想记忆
enterprise ['entəpraiz]
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n. 企业,事业,谋划,进取心
联想记忆
gravity ['græviti]
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n. 重力,严重,庄重,严肃
联想记忆
equivalent [i'kwivələnt]
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adj. 等价的,相等的
n. 相等物
联想记忆
understand [.ʌndə'stænd]
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vt. 理解,懂,听说,获悉,将 ... 理解为,认为<
 
elementary [.elə'mentəri]
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adj. 基本的,初级的,元素的
联想记忆
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