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翻译研讨:2009.12.29 SCIENCE IN THE NEWS - Time -- One of the Great Mysteries of Our Universe

楼主:Hom Chou 日期: 回贴:0 浏览:

创建日期:<20091229> <正式发布:20091229

SCIENCE IN THE NEWS -- Time -- One of the Great Mysteries of Our Universe

                                               《科学报道》-时间-宇宙中的奥秘

Written by Marilyn Christiano

    作者Marilyn Christiano

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HOST:

This is SCIENCE IN THE NEWS, in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember. This week our program is about a mystery as old as time. Bob Doughty and Sarah Long tell about the mystery of time.

主持人:

这里是“美国之音特别英语—科学报道”。我是Steve Ember。本周,我们的节目与一个古老的奥秘有关。下面就由Bob Doughty 与和Sarah Long为您讲述时间之谜。

(THEME)

VOICE ONE:

If you can read a clock, you can know the time of day. But no one knows what time itself is. We cannot see it. We cannot touch it. We cannot hear it. We know it only by the way we mark its passing.

如果你看得懂钟表,你就可以知道一天的时间。但是没有人知道时间本身是什么。我们看不到它、摸不到它、听不到它。我们只是通过对其流逝的标记来感知它。

For all our success in measuring the smallest parts of time, time remains one of the great mysteries of the universe.

 虽然我们在测量时间的最小单位取得了很多成功,但是,时间仍然是宇宙中极难解的谜团之一。

VOICE TWO:

One way to think about time is to imagine a world without time. There could be no movement, because time and movement cannot be separated.

一种思考时间的方法是,想象一个没有时间的世界。那里不能有运动,因为时间和运动是不能被分离的。

A world without time could exist only as long as there were no changes. For time and change are linked. We know that time has passed when something changes.

只要没有变化,一个没有时间的世界是可以存在的。因为时间和变化是联系在一起的。当事情发生变化时,我们知道时间已经悄然流逝。

VOICE ONE:

In the real world -- the world with time -- changes never stop. Some changes happen only once in a while, like an eclipse of the moon. Others happen repeatedly, like the rising and setting of the sun. Humans always have noted natural events that repeat themselves. When people began to count such events, they began to measure time.

在现实生活中——有时间的世界——变化是永无止境的。某些变化只是偶尔发生一次,就像月食一样,其他变化则重复发生,如同日升日落一般。人类一直以来都注意到了不断重复自身的自然事件。当人们开始计算这些事件时,他们就开始了时间的计算。

In early human history, the only changes that seemed to repeat themselves evenly were the movements of objects in the sky. The most easily seen result of these movements was the difference between light and darkness.

在早期人类史上,那种似乎有规律地重复自身的唯一变化就是天体的运动。这些运动最明显的结果就是光明与黑暗的区别。

The sun rises in the eastern sky, producing light. It moves across the sky and sinks in the west, causing darkness. The appearance and disappearance of the sun was even and unfailing. The periods of light and darkness it created were the first accepted periods of time. We have named each period of light and darkness -- one day.

太阳从东方升起,随之产生了光明。它沿着天空运动,并于西方落下,产生了黑暗。太阳乐此不疲地出现和消失,而由它所造成的黑白交替的时段,是首次被人们接受的时间。我们已为每个黑白交替的时间段命了名,那就是一天。

VOICE TWO:

People saw the sun rise higher in the sky during the summer than in winter. They counted the days that passed from the sun's highest position until it returned to that position. They counted three hundred sixty-five days. We now know that is the time Earth takes to move once around the sun. We call this period of time a year.

人们看到,与冬天相比,夏天的太阳升得更高一些。他们计算着从太阳升至最高位置然后又回到这个位置所经过的天数。他们算出那是365天。我们知道这是地球围绕太阳运动一周的时间。我们称这段时间为一年。

VOICE ONE:

Early humans also noted changes in the moon. As it moved across the night sky, they must have wondered. Why did it look different every night? Why did it disappear? Where did it go?

 早期人类也注意到了月球上的变化。当月亮在夜空中穿梭时,他们一定困惑过:为什么月亮看起来每晚都不一样?它为什么消失了?它到哪里去了?

Even before they learned the answers to these questions, they developed a way to use the changing faces of the moon to tell time.

甚至在得到这些问题的答案之前,他们就发明了一种运用不断变换的月相来告知时间的方法。

The moon was "full" when its face was bright and round. The early humans counted the number of times the sun appeared between full moons. They learned that this number always remained the same -- about twenty-nine suns. Twenty-nine suns equaled one moon. We now know this period of time as one month.

当其表面是明亮而圆满的时候,月球为满月。早期人类计算了太阳在满月之间出现的次数。他们了解到,这个数字总是一直不变——大约29天,相当于一个月。现在我们知道这段时间为一个月。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Early humans hunted animals and gathered wild plants. They moved in groups or tribes from place to place in search of food. Then, people learned to plant seeds and grow crops. They learned to use animals to help them work, and for food. They found they no longer needed to move from one place to another to survive.

早期人类猎捕动物和收集野生植物。他们以团体或部落的形式活动,到处寻找食物。之后,人们学会了播种和耕作,利用动物帮助他们干活并将其作为食物。他们发现自己再也不必为了生存到处奔波了。

As hunters, people did not need a way to measure time. As farmers, however, they had to plant crops in time to harvest them before winter. They had to know when the seasons would change. So, they developed calendars.

作为猎人,他们是不需要某种方法去测量时间的。然而,作为农民,他们不得不及时耕作以便在冬日之前有所收成。他们必须要知道季节在何时会变换。因此,他们发明了日历。

No one knows when the first calendar was developed. But it seems possible that it was based on moons, or lunar months. When people started farming, the wise men of the tribes became very important. They studied the sky. They gathered enough information so they could know when the seasons would change. They announced when it was time to plant crops.

没有人知道第一个日历是在何时产生的。但是它有可能是基于卫星或者农历月的启示。当人们开始耕作时,部落中聪明的人就显得极为重要。他们研究天象并收集足够的信息,这样他们可以知道季节会在何时改变。到了种植庄稼的时节,这些人就会通知大家。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The divisions of time we use today were developed in ancient Babylonia four thousand years ago. Babylonian astronomers believed the sun moved around the Earth every three hundred sixty-five days. They divided the trip into twelve equal parts, or months. Each month was thirty days. Then, they divided each day into twenty-four equal parts, or hours. They divided each hour into sixty minutes, and each minute into sixty seconds.

我们今天所用的时间划分法产生于4000年前的古巴比伦王国。巴比伦王国的天文学家们认为太阳每365天围绕地球旋转一次。他们把这一环行分为12个部分或12个月,每个月为30天。然后,又把每一天平均分成24个部分或24个小时,把每小时分成60 分钟,每分钟分成60秒。

VOICE TWO:

Humans have used many devices to measure time. The sundial was one of the earliest and simplest.

  人类用过很多设备来测量时间。其中,日晷就是最早和最简单的设备之一。

A sundial measures the movement of the sun across the sky each day. It has a stick or other object that rises above a flat surface. The stick, blocking sunlight, creates a shadow. As the sun moves, so does the shadow of the stick across the flat surface. Marks on the surface show the passing of hours, and perhaps, minutes.

   日晷测量太阳每天的运动情况。它有一个杆子或者其他的立在其表平面的东西。这个遮住阳光的杆子会形成一个阴影。当太阳运动时,杆子的阴影就会随之横跨日晷表平面。而平面上的标记则显示了过去的小时,或者说,分钟。

The sundial works well only when the sun is shining. So, other ways were invented to measure the passing of time.

日晷只有在阳光明媚的时候才会运转很好。因此,其他测量时间流逝的方法便应运而生了。

VOICE ONE:

One device is the hourglass. It uses a thin stream of falling sand to measure time. The hourglass is shaped like the number eight --- wide at the top and bottom, but very thin in the middle. In a true "hour" glass, it takes exactly one hour for all the sand to drop from the top to the bottom through a very small opening in the middle. When the hourglass is turned with the upside down, it begins to mark the passing of another hour.

一种器材是沙漏。 它用一个落沙的溪流来测量时间。沙漏的造型像数字“8”—上下宽大,中间细小。在真正的“时间”沙漏中,沙子通过杯子中间极为细小的通道,从上面完全流到下面,所花费的时间正好是一个小时。当沙漏被倒置过来时,它就开始记录另一个流逝中的小时了。

By the eighteenth century, people had developed mechanical clocks and watches. And today, many of our clocks and watches are electronic.

到了18世纪,人们已经发明了机械钟表。而今天,我们的许多钟表都是电子的。

VOICE TWO:

So, we have devices to mark the passing of time. But what time is it now? Clocks in different parts of the world do not show the same time at the same time. This is because time on Earth is set by the sun's position in the sky above.

我们有记录流逝时间的设备,但是现在的时间是多少呢?世界上不同地方的钟表并不在同一时刻显示同一时间。这是因为地球上的时间是以太阳在天空中的位置来确定的。

We all have a twelve o'clock noon each day. Noon is the time the sun is highest in the sky. But when it is twelve o'clock noon where I am, it may be ten o'clock at night where you are.

我们每人每天都会有一个正午12时的时间。正午是太阳在天空中位置最高的时间。但是,当我所在的地方为正午12点时,你所在的地方可能会是晚上10点。

VOICE ONE:

As international communications and travel increased, it became clear that it would be necessary to establish a common time for all parts of the world.

随着国际交流与旅游的加强,有必要建立一个世界各地共同的时间,这是不言自明的。

In eighteen eighty-four, an international conference divided the world into twenty-four time areas, or zones. Each zone represents one hour. The astronomical observatory in Greenwich, England, was chosen as the starting point for the time zones. Twelve zones are west of Greenwich. Twelve are east.

1884年,一个国际会议将时间按分成了24个时区或区域。每个区域代表一个小时。英国格林威治天文观测台被指定为0时区,其以西是12个时区,以东是12个时区。

The time at Greenwich -- as measured by the sun -- is called Universal Time. For many years it was called Greenwich Mean Time.

格林威治时间——由天阳测量的时间——被称作“世界时间”。多年来,它被称为“格林威治标准时间”。

VOICE TWO:

Some scientists say time is governed by the movement of matter in our universe. They say time flows forward because the universe is expanding. Some say it will stop expanding some day and will begin to move in the opposite direction, to grow smaller. Some believe time will also begin to flow in the opposite direction -- from the future to the past. Can time move backward?

一些科学家认为时间是由宇宙中的物质运动主宰的。他们认为时间之所以流动是因为宇宙在膨胀。有的说某一天宇宙将会停止膨胀并向其相反的方向运动——逐渐缩小。有的认为时间也会反演——从将来回到过去。时间能够倒流吗?

Most people have no trouble agreeing that time moves forward. We see people born and then grow old. We remember the past, but we do not know the future. We know a film is moving forward if it shows a glass falling off a table and breaking into many pieces. If the film were moving backward, the pieces would re-join to form a glass and jump back up onto the table. No one has ever seen this happen. Except in a film.

大多数人都一致认为时间是向前运动的。我们看到人出生了,然后又逐渐变老。我们记得过去,但是我们看不到未来。我们知道,如果电影所播放的是一个玻璃杯从桌子上摔下来,然后裂成碎片,那么,电影是在向前运作的。如果影片后退,碎片就会重新粘合在在一起,组成一个玻璃杯,并跳回到桌子上。然而,除了在电影中,没有人见过这种现象发生。

VOICE ONE:

Some scientists believe there is one reason why time only moves forward. It is a well-known scientific law -- the second law of thermodynamics. That law says disorder increases with time. In fact, there are more conditions of disorder than of order.

有些科学家认为时间为何向前运动的原因有一种。那就是众所周知的科学定律——热力学第二定律。这个定律说不规则运动随着时间的推移而加强。实施上,不规则运动的条件要多于规则运动的条件。

For example, there are many ways a glass can break into pieces. That is disorder. But there is only one way the broken pieces can be organized to make a glass. That is order. If time moved backward, the broken pieces could come together in a great many ways. Only one of these many ways, however, would re-form the glass. It is almost impossible to believe this would happen.

例如,能够打碎玻璃杯的方法有很多,这就是“不规则”。但是,只有一种方法可以这些碎片组成杯子,这就是“规则”。如果时间反演,这些碎片就能以很多方式结合起来。然而,只有其中的一种方法,可以形成原来的杯子。这种现象几乎是令人难以置信的。

VOICE TWO:

Not all scientists believe time is governed by the second law of thermodynamics. They do not agree that time must always move forward. The debate will continue about the nature of time. And time will remain a mystery.

并不是所有的科学家都相信时间是由热力学第二定律决定的。他们不认为时间一定总是向前运动的。关于时间本质的辩论将会继续进行,而时间将仍然是一个不解之谜。

(THEME)

HOST:

Our program was written by Marilyn Christiano and read by Sarah Long and Bob Doughty. I'm Steve Ember. Listen again next week for Science in the News, in VOA Special English.

主持人:

我们的节目由Marilyn Christiano 撰写,Sarah Long Bob Doughty导播。我是Steve Ember。欢迎下周再次收听“美国之声特别英语——科学报道”。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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