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6个科学尚未解释的问题 – 译学馆
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6个科学尚未解释的问题

6 Easy Questions (That Science Has A Hard Time Answering)

科学能够解释
– The field of science is capable
一些奇异的事情 大多是因为存在
of some amazing things, mostly because it’s filled
阿尔伯特·爱因斯坦和天才小医生这样的人
with all the Albert Einsteins and Doogie Howsers
在几个世纪建立起解释世界的理论
the world has produced over the centuries,
但是或许会让你震惊的是一些最平凡的
but it may shock you that some of the most mundane,
最寻常的概念对科学家来说还是巨大的谜题
everyday concepts are as big a mystery to scientists
他们就像是普通的学步儿童
as they are to the average toddler.
像为什么我们要睡觉这个问题
Things like, why we sleep.
正如我们所知道的 我们选择何时来睡觉
As far as we know, while the hours we choose to sleep
因人而异 实际上地球上的每个生物
varies greatly, virtually every creature on Earth
都和人类一样享受良好的夜间休息
enjoys a good night’s rest as much as people do.
所以很明显 睡眠对所有生物
So obviously sleep must serve a key purpose
起着关键的作用 不是吗?
for all living things, right?
事实上科学尚无法对此完全作出解释
Well it turns out science doesn’t have a clue.
我们仅有的是少量对睡眠的初步猜想
What we have is a handful of proposed explanations
并没有很多科学家赞同
for sleep that not many scientists can agree on.
有的理论说睡眠有助于清理大脑空间
There’s the theory that it’s helping the brain clean house
在一天的长时间学习后
after a long day of learning.
你可以看到 你的大脑不断产生新的回路
You see, your brain is constantly generating new pathways
由于一整天你看到和做了很多事情
thanks to all the stuff you see and do all day,
所以睡眠时所有无用的信息会从大脑清除
so sleeping is when all the useless info gets tossed out.
或者是 可能不是丢弃不需要的东西
Or maybe, instead of ditching the stuff
而是大脑强化
that’s not necessary, the brain might be reinforcing
你需要的东西
the stuff you do need.
科学家也注意到当小鼠睡着时
Scientists have seen that when rats were asleep
同一个神经元依然像那天早些时候穿过迷宫时一样活跃
the same neurons fired as when they had run mazes
那意味着小鼠
earlier that day, that means that the rats
基本上在再体验它们的一天
are essentially reliving their day
并且练习走出迷宫
and practicing the maze.
这让哈佛大学的研究者们声称睡眠
This has led Harvard researchers to assert that sleep
对人类形成记忆和学习至关重要
is crucial for humans to form memories and to learn.
但是这些理论都还存在一个问题
But there’s a problem with both of those theories,
植物和微生物等
plants and microorganisms, otherwise known as
没有大脑 它们有和睡眠相似的休眠期
things without brains, have dormant stages that are very
在一定程度上质疑了
similar to sleep, which kind of puts doubt
睡觉对大脑有益的理论
on the whole ‘sleep is good for the brain’ theory.
并且科学家发现一些事实
Then there’s the fact that scientists
有些人可以一直不睡觉
have found certain humans who can go without sleep
而且不会生病
with no ill effects.
甚至有一个男人声称
There’s even one dude who claims he hasn’t slept
他已经33年没睡过觉了
a wink in 33 years.
事实上 这些理论可能将不用再被考虑
In fact, all of these theories kind of went out the window
因为研究者发现存在一种基因突变
when researchers discovered a gene mutation
允许人们一晚只睡2到4个小时
that allows people to sleep two to four hours a night
并且一点没有不利的影响
without any adverse effects at all.
所以 睡眠是没什么作用吗
So, is sleep useless then?
是不是睡眠只是上帝的方式让我们
Is it just god’s way of making us take a break
休息一会
between masturbation sessions?
你的猜想和科学家的一样
Your guess is as good as scientists’
为什么冰会滑
Why ice is slippery.
在冰上会滑就像
Saying that ice is slippery is like saying
为什么水是潮湿的
that water is wet, it’s something we’ve known
是众所周知的事
for as long as can be said to have known anything.
据推测 人类作为一个物种知道
Presumably, humans as a species knew ice
冰会滑比知道火是热的
was slippery before we knew fire was hot
或者存在火知道得还要早
or that it existed.
但是如果问他们为什么冰会滑 他们不可能给你
But ask anyone why and they won’t be able to give you
任何优于那些原始人的
any better explanation than one
更好的解释
of those cave people would have.
我们仅仅是不知道 为什么你能在冰上滑雪
We just don’t know why it is that you can ski
但是在石头上面不行
on ice but not on boulders, although at this point
尽管在这一点上 你们中大多数人可能会尖叫道是因为水啊 你这个傻瓜
most of you are probably screaming, it’s water stupid,
那或多或少也是科学家
and that’s more or less the answer that scientists
已经总结出来的答案
have always concluded.
与大多数物质不同的是 水结冰体积会膨胀
Unlike most substances, ice expands when it freezes,
所以当你走在冰上时 你实际上是在
so when you walk on it you’re actually compacting it
把它挤压回水
back into slippery old water.
听起来很简单是吗?
Sounds simple, right?
不幸的是这仅仅是胡扯
Too bad then that it’s bullshit.
实验上已经证明你的小身板
Experiments have shown that your puny body
不足以在冰上施加足够的压力
doesn’t exert nearly enough pressure on ice
把冰挤压成水
to squeeze even a tiny bit of it into liquid.
一个流行的理论是冰表面
One popular theory is that the surface of ice
存在液体 因为
remains liquid because there’s nothing but
只有在冰的一边有空气对它施加压力
open air on one side to put pressure on it.
这在一些实验中得到了证实
And some tests have confirmed that.
尽管他们也证明了水层
Although they also confirmed that the liquid layer
可能太薄而不能对摩擦起任何作用
is probably too thin to have any effect on friction.
科学家提出的另一个理论是
Another theory that scientists have put forward
冰实际上一点也不滑
is that ice is not actually slippery at all,
尽管这听起来有些像是
though this sounds like something that science,
科学恼怒地拿枪指着你
exasperated, would proclaim while waving a gun in your face
让你停止问这些愚蠢的问题
to make you stop asking stupid questions,
一个叫桑摩仁的博士认为
a guy named Dr. Salmoran thinks that the roughness
冰表面实际上很粗糙
of the surface of ice is actually so high
但是却很滑
that, ironically, it becomes slippery when you flash melt it
因为你施加了剪切摩擦力使冰快速融化
due to the sheer friction you’re applying to it.
当然他也承认
Of course, in the same breath Dr. Salmoran admits
他自己可能是在胡说八道
he may be talking out of his ass.
自行车的原理是什么
How a bicycle works.
自行车在19世纪早期就已经出现
Bicycles have been around since the early 19th century
它的设计近两百年来
and its basic design has actually changed
几乎没有任何改变
relatively little for almost 200 years.
一直是两个轮子和一个框架连接它们
You always had two wheels, a frame to connect them,
一个把手来驾驶
and a handlebar for steering, and you required
还有一个完全不怕丢脸的人来骑车
a person completely devoid of shame to ride on it.
至少你会认为
At the very least, you’d think that the guy
发明自行车的人知道他在做什么
who invented the damn thing knew what he was doing,
但是在超过一个世纪的研究之后
but after more than a century of research,
科学被迫作出结论
science has been forced to conclude
发明者可能是一个巫师
that he was probably some kind of sorcerer.
即使是现代的自行车设计学院也承认
Even modern bike design schools admit that
并不是工程和电脑知识
it’s not engineering or computer knowledge
让人成为一个好的自行车设计者
that make a good bike designer, but instead
而是凭直觉和经验
intuition and experience.
所以你认为当你问科学家们
So what happens when you ask scientists
是什么让自行车能稳定前行?
exactly what makes a bicycle stable?
或者是什么让自行车能够行进?
Or what keeps it going?
或者人们应该怎样驾驶它们?你认为会发生什么
Or how people ride them?
事实上 他们可能焦急地告诉你
Well, odds are, they’ll either nervously tell you
他们烤箱里还放着曲奇饼 然后走开了
that they have cookies in the oven and run out on you,
亦或他们比较诚实 对你耸耸肩表示不知道
or if they’re honest, they’ll give you a pretty big shrug.
事实上 高级自行车研究者承认
In fact, top bike researchers admit that
尽管有些人提出了
even though some people have come up
如何骑自行车的公式
with equations on how to ride a bike,
或者是他们认为自行车是如何工作的
or how they think bikes work, those equations
这些公式更像是
are pretty much fancy icing on top
天方夜谭
of a cake of cluelessness.
康奈尔大学的一名研究者甚至说
One Cornell researcher even says that absolutely nobody
绝对没有人对自行车是如何工作的
has ever come to an intuitive understanding
有直观的理解
of what makes a bicycle do its thing.
长期以来 科学家们假设
For ages scientists have assumed
让物体保持旋转的
that the gyroscopic effect, the force that keeps
回转效应
a spinning top from falling over,
是让保持自行车平衡的关键
was the key for a bike’s balance,
但是事实不是这样的
but nope.
上世纪70年代 一个科学家推翻了这个理论
In the 70s a scientist disproved that theory too.
因此科学家们把
So then scientists thought that the principal factor
让自行车保持稳定最重要的因素
of a bike’s stability was something called
称作轨道效应
the caster effect, or trail, something to do
与前轮偏离主体框架的角度有关
with the front wheel’s angle away from the frame.
但是就在今年 来自康奈尔和其他大学
But just this year top bikeologists from Cornell
的顶级自行车学家们
and other universities formed an angry
组成了一个研究队伍
scientific mob and then torched and pitchforked
把轨道效应也给推翻了
that theory as well.
他们制造了一个傻瓜式的自行车
They did this by building a goofy looking bike
没有回转和轨道效应
that had no gyroscopic effect and no trail
尽管如此 自行车依然保持直立
but manages to stay upright nonetheless.
所以
So scientists are essentially back at square one
当像转向几何学和
as things such as steering geometry
物理稳定性等问题
and the physics of stability are all going
都要重新被解决 科学家们基本上回到了原点
back to the drawing board.
当你被问及自行车是如何工作时
At least you can be secure in the knowledge
至少你能确定的是
that the humiliation you feel when you ride a bike
你骑车时感到的害羞
is akin to the humiliation science feels
是符合科学解释的
when it’s asked how a bike stays up.
如何能赢得纸牌游戏
How to beat Solitaire.
如果你在私下里看过这个视频
Odds are pretty high that you’re listening to this video
那么当你再玩纸牌游戏的时候 胜算就会变得很高
in the background while you’re at work.
如果你在“打碎”(扑克术语)上浪费时间
And once you’re done wasting time with Cracked,
你可能会继续在其他事上浪费时间
odds are you’ll continue to waste time with something else.
纸牌游戏是你只需在指尖方便地操作
And conveniently at your fingertips
一直是玩得最多和让人沉迷的游戏之一
is one of the most played and addictive games of all time,
一个你甚至不需要伙伴的游戏
one that you don’t even need a partner for, Solitaire.
更具体一点 纸牌接龙
More specifically, Klondike Solitaire,
如同扫雷 是职场拖延者比较熟悉的游戏
which is as familiar to career procrastinators
我们所有人在某种程度上
as Minesweeper, all of us at some point,
在我们连输十场之后
usually around our 10th consecutive loss,
会很悲伤 想尽力找到其中的秘密
have buckled down and tried to figure out the secret,
毕竟 如果雨人能在拉斯维加斯赌赢
after all, if Rain Man can break Vegas,
你当然就能赢得该死的电脑游戏
surely you can beat a god-damn Windows game.
你错啦
Wrong.
这是因为
Maybe it has something to do with the fact
当科学家在研究纸牌游戏的时候 他们也很困惑
that scientists get distracted when studying Solitaire,
或者是纸牌可能是从
or the fact that Solitaire may have evolved
奇异的黑魔法演化而来
from freaking black magic.
事实上 大数数学家公开承认
In fact, big time mathematicians openly admit
纸牌游戏是应用数学领域的一大尴尬
that it’s one of the embarrassments
这句话是引述他们的话
of applied mathematics, that’s a quote,
到目前为止 关于标准纸牌接龙
that almost nothing about the standard Klondike Solitaire
几乎什么都没搞清楚
game is currently known.
例如当数学高手想知道胜率
For example, when the math geeks tried to find the odds
他们遇到一个问题
of winning, they ran into a problem,
他们甚至不知道
they couldn’t even get a fixed idea
有多少种赢的可能
of how many winning hands are possible.
数学家们提出了一个近似的比例关于
The mathematicians came up with an approximate
有多少种赢的可能
percentage of how many hands are winnable,
他们的结论是大约80%或者90%
that was somewhere around 80 or 90%.
但是想一想 当你玩纸牌接龙的时候
But think about it, when you play Solitaire,
每十次你至少赢了八次吗?
do you win at least eight out of every 10 hands?
无论你是有蹩脚的X战警超能力
Either you have the lamest X-Man superpower ever,
或者是你在撒谎 现在有相当多的傻瓜
or you’re lying, now there are some wild ass guesses
在猜纸牌接龙的实际胜率有多大
out there as to what the actual odds of winning Klondike
但是你永远不会得到准确的答案
are, but you’ll never get an exact answer,
其实很多电脑人士同意
even if many computer people agree that you don’t have
你在游戏中没有很大可能获得胜利
a good chance of winning at the game.
或许你会认为这是因为
You might think that it’s just because
科学家在忙着分裂中子等
scientists are too busy breaking apart neutrons
而不愿意花时间来
and corks and shit to bother trying
破解一个纸牌游戏 但是你想想
to hack a card game, but consider that science
科学已经破解了
has already cracked the secrets
大富翁这样更加复杂游戏的秘密
of the seemingly much more complicated game
但是纸牌接龙
of Monopoly, but Solitaire, it’s simply beyond
它轻易地超出了我们的理解能力
our powers of understanding, then again,
如果我们不知道如何赢得纸牌接龙
if we actually did know how to beat Solitaire,
我们就更需要加快工作了
we’d have to go to work faster.
一共存在多少种动物?
How many species of animals exist?
在21世纪 一个远离
In the 21st century the days of Marco Polo
马可·波罗和哥伦布的时代
and Columbus are long behind us,
没有人在探索新大陆和
nobody is exploring new lands and finding
发现像鸭嘴兽一样的新物种
exotic new creatures like the platypus
不然其他人会说他们在胡说八道
for the rest of the world to call bullshit on.
既然我们已经践踏了地球上的每一个角落和缝隙
So surely having stomped across every nook and cranny
现在我们需要知道
of the blue Earth, we should by now have some kind
还有多少种生物
of ballpark figure about how many species
留下来供我们屠杀 不是吗
we have left to kill, right?
事实上 没有准确的答案
Actually, not even close.
当你去问分类学家
When you ask taxonomists, scientists specifically tasked
科学家具体地检查已经找到和登记的动物
with finding and cataloging animals,
然后他们会告诉你
they’ll tell you that they haven’t even
发现生活在地球上的所有生物
scratched the surface in their attempts
他们所做的
to find all the creatures that live
不过是九牛一毛
on the planet.
但是 尽管为了这个任务
However, despite working on this mission
已经努力了几乎250年
for almost 250 years, along with discovering
每年新发现超过15000种新的生物
over 15,000 new living beings each year,
科学家对地球上生活了多少物种
taxonomists don’t even have the faintest
还是一无所知
idea of how many species live on Earth.
尽管科学家们已经鉴别出
In fact, although scientists have identified
几乎两百万种我们找到的生物
almost two million of the species we’ve got,
估计实际上在地球上的生物数目
estimates for the amount of species that are actually
在500万种
on the planet range from a measly five million
和一亿种之间
up to a daunting 100 million.
有这么大的容错空间是因为
The reason for this super nova sized room for error
不管科学家用什么方法
is that no matter what method the scientists use
进行预测
to make their estimates, there’s always some
或多或少存在一些猜测的成分
amount of guesswork involved.
19世纪分类学家做了一个猜测
One of the early estimates from 19th century taxonomists
他们说在地球上大概有40万个物种
say that there were about 400,000 species on Earth.
你再看看我们已经发现了的物种
And seeing as how we’ve already discovered
是当时预测的五倍
five times that many, it’s only logical
我们只能总结说存在一些错误的因素
to conclude that there was some faulty sciencing
事实上 最近的一次预测
involved there, in fact, the most recent
声称地球上的物种少于一千万
estimate which claims that there’s less
被科学家严重地批判
than 10 million species is being heavily criticized
该死的是 提出这个预测的人
by scientists, hell, even the people who put out
公开承认他们可能大错特错
this estimate admitted publicly that they might be
有一些原因为什么鸟
way off, there are a few good reasons why
蜜蜂和细菌遗憾地没有被计入
the birds, bees, and bacteria remain woefully uncounted.
首先 关于物种的研究
First off, the research on species
大多发生在北半球
takes place mostly in the northern hemisphere,
这里比南半球技术更加先进
which remains more technologically advanced
所以非常有可能
than the southern, so it’s very likely
像澳大利亚一样的地方至今还没有向我们展示
that places like Australia haven’t yet to show us
他们物种的繁荣
the complete horror of their fauna.
但是科学对此
But the biggest reason that science
无法作出解释的最主要原因是
is still shrugging its shoulders
99%的生物
and making sad trumped noises is that 99%
生存在海底
of all living space is under the ocean,
人类探索的还不到10%
and humans have explored less than 10% of it.
专家说我们对火星表面的了解程度
Experts say we have better maps of the surface of Mars
胜过我们对自己海洋的了解程度
than of our own oceans.
我们在海洋里
We discover new and horrible types of life there
一直在发现新的可怕类型的生物
all the time.
引力是怎么一回事?
How gravity works.
得了吧 万有引力哎
Come on, it’s gravity.
你没看过电影里面是怎么说的吗?
Didn’t you see the movie?
宇宙还有什么概念比这个
Is there any concept in the universe
更基础吗?
quite so basic?
你把一个东西扔上去 它会再掉下来
You throw shit up, it comes down again.
牛顿虽然享誉世界
Despite his textbook reputation,
但并不是他发现了重力
Newton didn’t discover gravity,
它是被鱼的祖先发现的
it was discovered by the first fish ancestor
当它们爬上陆地
who crawled onto land and found it had lost
他们发现他们失去了继续往上游动的能力
the ability to swim upwards.
怎么理解?
What’s to understand?
原来是这里有四种基本的作用力
Turns out there are four basic forces
形成了整个宇宙
that hold the universe together.
这件事四种力当中
And out of these four, gravity is the only one
引力是唯一一种难以解释的
that doesn’t make any sense, specifically,
具体来说 它的作用怎么这么弱
how it can be so incredibly weak
但同时作用力又这么强
and incredibly strong at the same time.
引力让整个宇宙聚集在一起
Gravity holds the entire universe together,
不管你旅行到多远
and no matter how far out you travel,
引力都不可能完全消失
it never completely disappears, and yet,
但是它又是存在的最弱的作用力
it is the weakest force in existence.
你知道当你把两个磁铁放在一起
To illustrate, you know when you bring two magnets
他们相互吸在一起
near each other and they snap together?
那个作用力比引力
That force is actually 10 to the 36th times
强10的36次方倍
stronger than gravity.
确实 磁场力要强很多个数量级
Yeah, a big ass order of magnitude stronger.
让人更加困惑的是
To add to the confusion, because all these other
其他几种力都有他们自己的微粒控制
forces are controlled by their own particles,
这就表明引力
it stands to reason that gravity should have
也应该有它自己对应的粒子
its own particles too.
但是这个假想的粒子引力子
But this hypothetical critter, the graviton,
基本上是至今唯一一个我们没有找到的粒子
is basically the only one we haven’t found yet,
它不像其他的粒子联系了许多
unlike the particles that mediate a lot of the other
自然界已经相互协调的
important forces in nature which have been
重要的力的作用
altogether more cooperative.
所有令人困惑的引力之谜的源头
But the mother of all baffling gravity mysteries
是一旦达到原子和分子大小
is that once you get down to the level of atoms
甚至更小的尺度
and molecules, and even smaller stuff,
引力完全停止作用
gravity just plain stops working.
事实上 引力是一个最重要的原因
In fact, gravity is one of the biggest reasons
为什么微观量子力学和宏观物理学
why quantum physics and real world physicists
没有实现统一
have nothing to say to each other.
相比于我们把球扔到空中
We know more about what’s inside an atom
它再落回来 我们对原子内部情况
than we do about why a ball comes back down
了解的更多
when we throw it in the air.
所有从事科学的人都知道 是因为幽灵
For all science knows, it’s because of ghosts.

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视频概述

视频介绍了科学上还未解决的几个问题,像为什么人要睡觉,为什么在冰上会滑,自行车是怎么运动的,地球上有多少物种,怎样赢得纸牌接龙和引力是怎么一回事

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Darrenguo

审核员

瞌睡虫儿

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMDqmSaWD7c

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