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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第239期:马斯特-马克的夸克(11)

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String theory has further spawned something called "M theory," which incorporates surfaces known as membranes—or simply "branes" to the hipper souls of the world of physics. I'm afraid this is the stop on the knowledge highway where most of us must get off. Here is a sentence from the New York Times, explaining this as simply as possible to a general audience: "The ekpyrotic process begins far in the indefinite past with a pair of flat empty branes sitting parallel to each other in a warped five-dimensional space... The two branes, which form the walls of the fifth dimension, could have popped out of nothingness as a quantum fluctuation in the even more distant past and then drifted apart." No arguing with that. No understanding it either. Ekpyrotic, incidentally, comes from the Greek word for "conflagration."
弦理论又进一步产生了所谓的M理论。该理论把所谓“膜”的面,纳入了物理学世界的灵魂。说到这里,我们恐怕到了知识公路的站点,大多数人该下车了。下面引了《纽约时报》上的一句话,它以尽可能简单的语言向普通读者解释了这种理论:在那遥远遥远的过去,火成过程以一对又平又空的膜开始;它们互相平行地处于一个卷曲的5维空间里……两张膜构成了第5维的壁,很可能在更遥远的过去作为一个量子涨落产生于无,然后又飘散了。无法与之争辩,也无法理解。顺便说一句,“火成”源自希腊文,意为“燃烧”。
夸克星球Matters in physics have now reached such a pitch that, as Paul Davies noted in Nature, it is "almost impossible for the non-scientist to discriminate between the legitimately weird and the outright crackpot." The question came interestingly to a head in the fall of 2002 when two French physicists, twin brothers Igor and Grickha Bogdanov, produced a theory of ambitious density involving such concepts as "imaginary time" and the "Kubo-Schwinger-Martin condition," and purporting to describe the nothingness that was the universe before the Big Bang—a period that was always assumed to be unknowable (since it predated the birth of physics and its properties).
现在,物理学的问题已经达到这样的一种高度,正如保罗·戴维斯在《自然》杂志里说的,“非物理学家几乎不可能区分你是合乎常情的怪人,还是彻头彻尾的疯子”。有意思的是,2002年秋,这个问题到了关键时刻。两位法国物理学家──孪生兄弟伊戈尔·波格丹诺夫和格里希卡·波格丹诺夫──提出了一种关于极高密度的理论,包括“想像的时间”和“库珀─施温格─马丁条件”这样的概念,旨在描述无,即大爆炸以前的宇宙──这段时间一直被认为是无法知道的(因为它发生在物理现象及其特性诞生之前)。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
indefinite [in'definit]
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adj. 模糊的,不确定的,无限的
联想记忆
assumed [ə'sju:md]
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adj. 假装的;假定的
 
pitch [pitʃ]
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n. 沥青,树脂,松脂
n. 程度,投掷,球场
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ambitious [æm'biʃəs]
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adj. 有雄心的,有抱负的,野心勃勃的
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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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dimension [di'menʃən]
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n. 尺寸,次元,容积,维度,范围,方面
vt
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fluctuation [.flʌktju'eiʃən]
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n. 波动,起伏
 
imaginary [i'mædʒinəri]
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adj. 想象的,虚构的
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incidentally [.insi'dentəli]
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adv. 附带地,偶然地,顺便地
 
density ['densiti]
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n. 密集,密度,透明度
 
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