请选择 进入手机版 | 继续访问电脑版

英语家园

 找回密码
 注册

QQ登录

只需一步,快速开始

扫描二维码登录本站

超棒的英语学习网站快速提高英语水平本广告位招租

社区广播台

查看: 72|回复: 0
收起左侧

[TED] 【TED】好奇心对我们真的太重要了!

[复制链接]
发表于 2018-12-1 12:03:20 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式



In the late 19th century, scientists were trying to solve a mystery.

在十九世纪末,科学家 试图想要破解一个谜。

They found that if they had a vacuum tube like this one

他们发现,如果他们有 一支像这样真空管,

and applied a high voltage across it,

接著让高电压通过它,

something strange happened.

会发生很奇怪的现象。

They called them cathode rays.

他们称之为阴极射线。

But the question was: What were they made of?

但,问题是,阴极射线 是什麽做成的?

In England, the 19th century physicist, J.J. Thompson,

十九世纪,在英国, 物理学家 J.J. 汤普森

conducted experiments using magnets and electricity, like this.

用磁铁和电来进行实验,像这样。

And he came to an incredible revelation.

他得到了很难以置信的意外发现。

These rays were made of negatively charged particles

这些射线是由 带负电的粒子所构成,

around 2,000 times lighter than the hydrogen atom,

粒子的重量比氢原子 还要轻两千倍,

the smallest thing they knew.

氢原子是我们所知最小的东西。

So Thompson had discovered the first subatomic particle,

所以,汤普森发现了 第一个亚原子粒子,

which we now call electrons.

现在我们称之为电子。

Now, at the time, this seemed to be a completely impractical discovery.

在当时,这似乎是个 完全不实际的发现。

I mean, Thompson didn’t think there were any applications of electrons.

我是指,汤普森不认为 电子可以做任何应用。

Around his lab in Cambridge, he used to like to propose a toast:

在他在剑桥的实验室, 他以前会这样子敬酒:

To the electron.

「敬电子。

May it never be of use to anybody."

愿它永远 不会对任何人有用。」

(Laughter)

(笑声)

He was strongly in favor of doing research out of sheer curiosity,

他非常支持 单纯出于好奇心来做研究,

to arrive at a deeper understanding of the world.

以对世界有更深的了解。

And what he found did cause a revolution in science.

他的发现,确实造成了 一次科学的革命。

But it also caused a second, unexpected revolution in technology.

但,它也造成了科技的 第二次且是未预期的革命。

Today, I’d like to make a case for curiosity-driven research,

今天,我想要提出几个例子来说明, 由好奇心驱使的研究,

because without it,

因为若没有这样的好奇心

none of the technologies I’ll talk about today

今天我要谈得这些科技

would have been possible.

通通都不可能发生。

Now, what Thompson found here has actually changed our view of reality.

汤普森的发现,改变了 我们对于现实的观点。

I mean, I think I’m standing on a stage,

我的意思是,我认为 我站在一个舞台上,

and you think you’re sitting in a seat.

而你认为你坐在一张椅子上。

But that’s just the electrons in your body

但那只是你体内的电子

pushing back against the electrons in the seat,

在对抗著椅子的电子,

opposing the force of gravity.

抵抗地心引力。

You’re not even really touching the seat.

你甚至没有触碰到椅子。

You’re hovering ever so slightly above it.

你其实是停留在椅子 上方一点点的位置。

But in many ways, our modern society was actually built on this discovery.

但,就许多层面来说,我们的现代 社会是建立在这项发现之上的。

I mean, these tubes were the start of electronics.

我是指,这些真空管 是电子的开端。

And then for many years,

接著,许多年来,

most of us actually had one of these, if you remember, in your living room,

如果你记得的话,很多人 在客厅中都有一个这样的东西,

in cathode ray tube televisions.

就在映像管电视裡。

But -- I mean, how impoverished would our lives be

但——我是指, 我们的人生会有多麽无趣,

if the only invention that had come from here was the television?

如果从这个发现产生的发明 就只有电视而已?

(Laughter)

(笑声)

Thankfully, this tube was just a start,

谢天谢地,这个射线管只是个开端,

because something else happens when the electrons here

因为,当这裡的电子 撞到管内的一片金属时,

hit the piece of metal inside the tube.

会发生另一种现象。

Let me show you.

让我示范给各位看。

Pop this one back on.

把这个重新打开。

So as the electrons screech to a halt inside the metal,

所以,当电子碰撞金属 并停在金属内的时候,

their energy gets thrown out again

它们的能量会再次被丢出来,

in a form of high-energy light, which we call X-rays.

形式是高能光, 也就是我们所谓的 X 光。

(Buzzing)

(嘈杂声)

(Buzzing)

(嘈杂声)

And within 15 years of discovering the electron,

在发现电子之后的十五年内,

these X-rays were being used to make images inside the human body,

这些 X 光就被用来 製造人体内的影像,

helping soldiers’ lives being saved by surgeons,

协助外科医生拯救士兵的性命,

who could then find pieces of bullets and shrapnel inside their bodies.

在士兵的体内找到 子弹碎片以及抱弹碎片。

But there’s no way we could have come up with that technology

我们不可能要求科学家

by asking scientists to build better surgical probes.

藉由找到更好的手术方法来 发现这类的科技,

Only research done out of sheer curiosity, with no application in mind,

唯有脑子没有杂念, 靠著好奇心所做出来的研究,

could have given us the discovery of the electron and X-rays.

才能发现电子和 X 光。

Now, this tube also threw open the gates for our understanding of the universe

如今,这射线管为我们打开了一扇门,让我们能了解宇宙

and the field of particle physics,

以及粒子物理学的领域,

because it’s also the first, very simple particle accelerator.

因为它也是第一个 非常简单的粒子加速器。

Now, I’m an accelerator physicist, so I design particle accelerators,

我是加速器物理学家, 我设计粒子加速器,

and I try and understand how beams behave.

我试图了解光束的行为。

And my field’s a bit unusual,

我的领域有一点不寻常,

because it crosses between curiosity-driven research

因为它跨在好奇心驱使的研究

and technology with real-world applications.

和真实世界应用 所需要的技术之间。

But it’s the combination of those two things

但,正是因为这两者的结合,

that gets me really excited about what I do.

让我对于我的工作感到非常兴奋。

Now, over the last 100 years,

在过去一百年间,

there have been far too many examples for me to list them all.

有太多例子了,我无法一一列举。

But I want to share with you just a few.

但我想和各位分享其中几个。

In 1928, a physicist named Paul Dirac found something strange in his equations.

1928 年,物理学家保罗狄拉克发现他的方程式有点奇怪。

And he predicted, based purely on mathematical insight,

他完全凭著数学上的洞见,

that there ought to be a second kind of matter,

预测到应该还有第二种

the opposite to normal matter,

与正常物质相反的东西存在,

that literally annihilates when it comes in contact:

就在碰触的时候,会消失不见:

antimatter.

反物质。

I mean, the idea sounded ridiculous.

这个想法听起来很可笑。

But within four years, they’d found it.

但在四年后,他们终于找到了。

And nowadays, we use it every day in hospitals,

现今,我们每天都会 在医院中用到它,

in positron emission tomography, or PET scans, used for detecting disease.

用在正电子发射电脑断层扫描, 或简称 PET 扫描,用来侦测疾病。

Or, take these X-rays.

或者,比如这些 X 光。

If you can get these electrons up to a higher energy,

如果你能让这些电子的 能量提升到更高,

so about 1,000 times higher that this tube,

比这种射线管还要高一千倍,

the X-rays that those produce

产生出来的 X 光

can actually deliver enough ionizing radiation to kill human cells.

就会有足够的游离辐射, 可以杀死人类细胞。

And if you can shape and direct those X-rays where you want them to go,

如果你能够操控 这些 X 光的形状和方向,

that allows us to do an incredible thing:

就能让我们做到 一件很了不起的事:

to treat cancer without drugs or surgery,

不用药物或手术就能治疗癌症,

which we call radiotherapy.

这就是所谓的放射线疗法。

In countries like Australia and the UK,

在像是澳洲和英国这些国家,

around half of all cancer patients are treated using radiotherapy.

癌症病人有一半左右 都是用放射线疗法来治疗。

And so, electron accelerators are actually standard equipment

所以,电子加速器

in most hospitals.

其实是大部分医院的标准配备。

Or, a little closer to home:

或者,更朴实一点的例子:

if you have a smartphone or a computer --

如果你有智慧手机或是电脑——

and this is TEDx, so you’ve got both with you right now, right?

这是 TEDx,所以你们现在应该 两种都带在身上,对吧?

Well, inside those devices

在那些装置内的晶片

are chips that are made by implanting single ions into silicon,

製作方式是将单独的 离子植入到硅当中,

in a process called ion implantation.

这个过程叫做离子佈植。

And that uses a particle accelerator.

这过程会运用到粒子加速器。

Without curiosity-driven research, though,

不过,若没有好奇心驱使的研究,

none of these things would exist at all.

这些东西都完全不会存在。

So, over the years, we really learned to explore inside the atom.

所以,多年来,我们真的在学习探索原子的内部。

And to do that, we had to learn to develop particle accelerators.

为了做到这一点, 我们得要开发出离子加速器。

The first ones we developed let us split the atom.

我们最早开发出来的加速器, 让我们能把原子分割。

And then we got to higher and higher energies;

接著,我们朝向 越来越高的能量前进;

we created circular accelerators that let us delve into the nucleus

我们创造出环形加速器, 让我们能钻研原子核,

and then create new elements, even.

接著,甚至创造出新的元素。

And at that point, we were no longer just exploring inside the atom.

现在,我们不再 只是在探索原子的内部了。

We’d actually learned how to control these particles.

我们已经学会控制 这些粒子的方法。

We’d learned how to interact with our world

我们已经学会在微小规模上,

on a scale that’s too small for humans to see or touch

和我们的世界互动,微小到 人类肉眼看不到也摸不到,

or even sense that it’s there.

甚至无法感觉到它的存在。

And then we built larger and larger accelerators,

接著,我们建立的 加速器越来越大,

because we were curious about the nature of the universe.

因为我们很好奇宇宙的本质。

As we went deeper and deeper, new particles started popping up.

随著我们越挖越深, 新的粒子不断出现。

Eventually, we got to huge ring-like machines

最终,我们做出了 巨大的环型机器,

that take two beams of particles in opposite directions,

採用来自相反方向的两道粒子束,

squeeze them down to less than the width of a hair

将它们挤压到比 一根头髮的宽度还小,

and smash them together.

让它们猛撞在一起。

And then, using Einstein’s E=mc2,

接著,用爱因斯坦的 E=mc2,

you can take all of that energy and convert it into new matter,

可以把所有产生的能量 转换成新的物质,

new particles which we rip from the very fabric of the universe.

我们从宇宙的构造中 扯下来的新粒子。

Nowadays, there are about 35,000 accelerators in the world,

现今,世界上有大约 三万五千台加速器,

not including televisions.

不包括电视机。

And inside each one of these incredible machines,

在每个加速器中, 都是很了不起的机器,

there are hundreds and billions of tiny particles,

有数百、数十亿个小粒子,

dancing and swirling in systems that are more complex

在比银河形成还要複杂的

than the formation of galaxies.

系统中飞舞、旋转。

You guys, I can’t even begin to explain how incredible it is

各位,我实在不知道 要如何解释我们能做到这些

that we can do this.

是多麽不可思议的事。

(Laughter)

(笑声)

(Applause)

(掌声)

So I want to encourage you to invest your time and energy

所以,我想要鼓励各位, 把你们的时间和能量投资给

in people that do curiosity-driven research.

出于好奇心而去做研究的人。

It was Jonathan Swift who once said,

强纳森史威夫特曾经说过:

Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.

「远见就是能洞见 大家尚未能见的一门艺术。」

And over a century ago, J.J. Thompson did just that,

这也正是超过一个世纪之前, J.J. 汤普森所做的,

when he pulled back the veil on the subatomic world.

他揭开了亚原子粒子世界的面纱。

And now we need to invest in curiosity-driven research,

现在,我们需要投资 由好奇心驱使的研究,

because we have so many challenges that we face.

因为我们要面对好多挑战。

And we need patience;

我们需要耐心;

we need to give scientists the time, the space and the means

我们需要给科学家 时间、空间,和方法,

to continue their quest,

来持续他们的追寻,

because history tells us

因为历史告诉我们,

that if we can remain curious and open-minded

如果我们能对研究的结果

about the outcomes of research,

保持好奇心和开放的心态,

the more world-changing our discoveries will be.

我们的发现就更有可能 可以改变世界。

Thank you.

谢谢。


上一篇:【TED】发自灵魂的拷问:越有钱的人越自私?
下一篇:【TED】科学家必须自由地学习、发言和接受挑战
您需要登录后才可以回帖 登录 | 注册

本版积分规则

随便看看 精彩图片 帖子导读 联系管理
快速回复 返回顶部 返回列表