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世界是空的?

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小编摘要:世界充满了固体物质,你可能对此深信不疑。你会以为,你正在听的收音机是固体的;你正站在上面的地板是固体的;你正坐在上面的椅子是固体的。嘿,你可能说,我自己也是固体呀。可惜,你错了。

You’ve Got a Lot of Space between Your Ears



Sure, you think the world is full of solid objects. You think the radio you’re listening to is solid. You think the floor you’re standing on or the chair you’re sitting in is solid. Heck, you probably think that you yourself are a solid object. Wrong.

One of the strangest things modern atomic theory has shown us is that what we commonly (1)take to be the world of solid objects is for the most part empty space. That’s right. Even something as reliable as a table, a brick, a baseball, even your body, is (2)by and large just empty space.

Why is that? It’s because you, the baseball, and everything else is made up of atoms. And atoms themselves are mostly empty space… But wait! What about the protons and neutrons (3)and stuff? Well, they’re in there, but only in the very center. That’s called the nucleus.

An atom’s nucleus is surrounded by a cloud of orbiting electrons. Virtually all the mass of the atom — the stuff and not the fluff — is in the nucleus. And the nucleus is incredibly tiny compared to the overall size of the atom. In fact, it’s about a hundred thousand times smaller. It’s like (4)a speck of dust floating around inside a cathedral. In between the dust speck and the cathedral walls is nothing but space.

So you are made up of things that are mostly empty space, with occasional specks floating in them. Does it make you feel kind of empty, too? Don’t worry. Every other object in the world, from a pebble to (5)Mount Everest, is the same way.

世界充满了固体物质,你可能对此深信不疑。你会以为,你正在听的收音机是固体的;你正站在上面的地板是固体的;你正坐在上面的椅子是固体的。嘿,你可能说,我自己也是固体呀。可惜,你错了。

现代原子理论带给我们最大的惊奇是,通常被认为是固体的东西其实大部分都是空隙。确实是这样。即使是像桌子,砖头,棒球,甚至你的身体,这些看起来实实在在的东西,其主要构成都是空隙。

为什么这么说呢?这是因为你也好,棒球也好,其它的任何东西也好,都是由原子构成的,而原子本身大部分都是空隙。不过,等一下!你可能会问,不是还有质子、中子吗?它们又在哪里呢?别着急,它们还是在那里,不过只在正中间一点点地方。所以它们被称为原子核。

原子核的周围环绕着一团按轨道运行的电子群。事实上,粗略地说,原子的重量就是原子核的重量,尽管与整个原子相比,原子核小得不可思议。具体地说,原子核比原子小十万倍。形象地说,原子核与原子就如同一粒漂浮的微尘与大教堂,而灰尘和教堂的墙壁之间没有任何东西----全是空隙。

所以你就是由这样的东西构成的:它们基本上都是空隙,几颗微尘漂浮其间。这是否让你感到某种空虚?别担心。世上所有一切,从小小的鹅卵石到巍巍喜马拉雅山,也都是这样构成的。

Notes:

(1)take to be 把 ... 看作是 ..., 把 ... 当作是 ...

(2)by and large 大体上,总的来说
By and large the work of the news agency is appreciative.
一般而论这家新闻社的工作是让人感激的。

(3)and stuff 等等;诸如此类
My Husband will sometimes help me fold and stuff the envelopes.
我的丈夫有时愿意帮助我折叠和塞信封。

(4)a speck of 一点点
Her hand brushed a speck of lint from her skirt.
她的手掸掉衣裙上的一点棉花絮。

(5)Mount Everest:埃佛勒斯峰:喜马拉雅山主峰之一,中国称珠穆朗玛峰

标签:听力文摘
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2012-06-11 20:20 编辑:pliny
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