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灯泡是如何工作的 – 译学馆
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灯泡是如何工作的

How Modern Light Bulbs Work

灯泡工作原理很简单 就是将电流导入细电线
Light bulbs used to be simple: just run a bunch of electrical current through a thin wire
直到它足够热 热到开始发光
until it heats up enough to start glowing.
大概在1800年 Humphry Davy第一次展示了仅用灯丝来发光的电灯
Bare filament electric lamps were first demonstrated around 1800 by Humphry Davy,
玻璃外罩是之后加上去的 以便隔绝氧气和金属丝
and the glass bulb was added later to keep oxygen away from the wire
使得灯丝的寿命延长 亮的时间更久
so it could glow for a long time without actually burning up.
白炽灯是19世纪的科技产物
So the incandescent light bulb is 19th-century technology,
直到现在 各种新的电灯层出不穷
and by now there’s now a blinding array of electric lamps:
像卤素灯 荧光灯 汞钠蒸气灯 LED灯 激光等
halogen light bulbs, fluorescents, mercury and sodium vapor lamps, LEDs, lasers and so on.
每一种都巧妙的利用物理学 达到了灯泡的实用功效
Each one makes its own clever use of physics to achieve the life goal of a light bulb:
那就是 将电流转化为可见光
converting electrical current into visible light.
以下展示它们是如何工作的
Here’s how they work.
卤素灯与一般的白炽灯一样 都用的钨丝
Halogen bulbs have the same tungsten metal filament as typical incandescent light bulbs,
但是卤素灯在灯泡里还有少许卤素气体
but they contain a little bit of a halogen-based gas in the bulb as well.
卤素气体的化学性质使得它可以捕获从钨丝中蒸发出去的钨原子
The chemistry of the halogen gas allows it to capture stray tungsten atoms that evaporate off the filament
并引导它们回去原来的地方
and shepherd them back to where they belong,
这就延长了金属丝的寿命 并使灯泡里面保持干净
which both prolongs the life of the filament as well as keeps the inside of the bulb clean and clear.
荧光灯基本上是个充气的管 管的两端是电极
Fluorescent bulbs are basically gas-filled tubes with electrodes at both ends.
电流从一个电极流向另一个电极
Electrical current flows from one electrode to the other,
当电流中的电子碰撞气体中的汞原子时
and when the electrons that make up the current bump into mercury atoms in the gas,
碰撞发出的能量使得原子变得“活跃” 这个是术语
the energy of the collision makes the atoms get “excited”—that’s the technical term
继而原子发出可见光和紫外线
—and the atoms then emit visible and ultraviolet light.
玻璃内侧的白色涂料吸收紫外线 释放出可见度更高的的光
The white coating on the inside of the glass absorbs the ultraviolet light and re-emits it as more visible light
这个过程叫做“荧光过程” 所以这种灯叫作荧光灯
—this process is called “fluorescence” and is the namesake of the bulbs.
同时因为这层涂料阻碍了紫外线的穿透 也就阻挡了灯泡的致癌性
Because the coating stops the UV light, it also keeps the bulbs from giving you cancer…
不过如果你觉得命太长的话 你可以换个没有吸收紫外线效果的日照灯
unless that’s what you want, in which case you can use a tanning bulb with a different kind of coating.
钠 汞和卤素金属蒸气灯经常用于街道
Sodium, mercury, and metal-halide vapor lamps, which are commonly used for lighting streets,
仓库 体育场馆和其它大场地的照明 这些灯都是让电流穿过气体而发光的
warehouses, gymnasiums, and other large areas, are also tubes that run electrical current through a gas.
气体在电流通过时能发出可见光 因此灯泡不用涂一层荧光涂料
The gas itself emits mainly visible light so these bulbs don’t need a fluorescent coating.
最后一种灯 LED灯 它与荧光灯类似
Finally, LEDs are also like fluorescent light bulbs,
除了它不用气体 而是用细小的半导体镓晶体做媒介 可以不必有外面的灯泡
except replace the gas with a tiny crystal of semiconducting gallium, and throw away the bulb
所以它也不太像荧光灯
—so not like fluorescent bulbs.
但是仔细观察就会发现 这个半导体晶体有两层 一层是为活跃电子提供更多的能量
But seriously, the semiconductor has two layers, one of which provides excited electrons with lots of energy,
另一层为这些电子提供活动和休息的空间
while the other provides a place for the electrons to go and relax
这里的“休息”是科技用语
—and that *is* the technical term.
你所需要的就是一股电流 能让这些电子从活跃状态转变为休息状态即可
All you need is an electrical current to transport electrons from the party side to the spa side
它们会将自己活跃时的能量释放出来 而那就是光
where they release the energy of their excitement as light.
看 这个是发光二极管 特别适合在派对时用
Voilá – a light-emitting diode, perfect for human parties!

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介绍了各种灯的工作原理

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