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过山车是如何影响你的身体的 – 译学馆
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过山车是如何影响你的身体的

How rollercoasters affect your body - Brian D. Avery

如果你能放任自己于空气中 那你就能驾驭它——《所罗门之歌》托尼•莫里森
1895年夏 人们蜂拥至科尼岛的木板路
In the summer of 1895,crowds flooded the Coney Island boardwalk
来见证当时最新过山车技术
to see the latest marvelof roller coaster technology:
翻滚轨道
the Flip Flap Railway.
它是美国第一个环形过山车
This was America’s first-ever looping coaster
但这刺激的翻滚也让人们付出了代价
– but its thrilling flip came at a price.
它引发了多起严重骨折
The ride caused numerous cases ofsevere whiplash,
颈部损伤 甚至飞出轨道的案例
neck injury and even ejections,
全都归咎于它特有的环形
all due to its signature loop. Today,
如今过山车能实现更刺激的玩法
coasters can pull offfar more exciting tricks,
不再依靠 那可能损伤身体的刺激
without resorting to the “thrill”of a hospital visit.
但过山车究竟对你的身体有何影响
But what exactly are roller coastersdoing to your body,
如何使其变得更刺激的同时 也更安全呢?
and how have they managed to get scarier and safer at the same time?
所有过山车的设计核心都是地心引力
At the center of every roller coasterdesign is gravity.
不同于车辆或中转列车
Unlike cars or transit trains,
大多数过山车都是由
most coasters are propelled around their tracks
重力推动其在轨道上行驶
almost entirely by gravitational energy.
在过山车爬到最初的坡峰后
After the coaster crests the initial lift hill,
它就开始了一个巧妙的设计循环
it begins an expertly engineered cycle –
过山车在爬坡的过程中储存势能
building potential energy on ascents
并在下坡时消耗动能
and expending kinetic energy on descents.
这一过程在整个行驶过程中反复出现
This rhythm repeats throughout the ride,
从而展现出过山车设计师
acting out the coaster engineer’schoreographed dance
精心设计的重力舞蹈
of gravitational energy.
但在这个循环过程中
But there’s a key variable
我们常常会忽略一个关键的变量
in this cycle that wasn’t always so carefully considered:
那就是 你
you.
在翻滚过山车的年代
In the days of the Flip-Flap,
设计师们最担心的问题就是过山车
ride designers were most concerned with coasters getting stuck
会卡在轨道的某个地方
somewhere along the track.
这就导致早期的设计师们会
This led early builders to overcompensate,
放任过山车飞驰而下 等到站才拉刹车
hurling trains down hills and pulling on the brakes when they reached the station.
既然车会受到重力的影响 乘客也不例外
But as gravity affects the cars,it also affects the passengers.
而且在过山车激烈运动的情况下
And under the intense conditionsof a coaster,
重力的作用会增大
gravity’s effects are multiplied.
有一个通用的单位 叫做G
There’s a common unit used by jet pilots, astronauts,
飞行员 宇航员和过山车设计者都会用到重力
and coaster designers called “g force”.
站在地球上 你受到的引力
One G force is the familiar tug
大致就是一个G
of gravity you feel when standing on Earth
这是地球施加在我们身上的重力
– this is the force of Earth’s gravitational pull on our bodies.
但要是司机加速或减速
But as riders accelerate and decelerate,
他们受到的重力就会增加或减少
they experience more or lessgravitational force.
当今过山车设计师知道
Modern ride designers know
我们的身体可以承受大概 5 G的力
that the body can handle up to roughly 5 Gs,
但是过山车这类的可承受大概12G的力
but the Flip-Flap and its contemporaries routinely reached up to 12 Gs.
在这样的重压水平下
At those levels of gravitational pressure,
你的血液就会倒流
blood is sent flying from your brainto your feet,
从而导致头发晕或者眼前发黑
leading to light-headedness or blackouts
就算大脑努力保持清醒
as the brain struggles to stay conscious.
视网膜细胞也会缺氧
And oxygen deprivation
从而损害眼睛处理光的能力
in the retinal cells impairs their ability to process light,
导致我们眼前一片灰蒙蒙或是短暂性失明
causing greyed out vision or temporary blindness.
如果乘客被倒置血液就会涌向大脑
If the riders are upside down,blood can flood the skull,
导致眼前一片深红 这叫红雾视症
causing a bout of crimson visioncalled a “redout”. Conversely,
相反 重力的减小会造成失重
negative G’screate weightlessness.
在身体内部 短期失重大多无害
Within the body, short-term weightlessnessis mostly harmless.
它会导致用于调节平衡的
It can contribute to a rider’smotion sickness
耳内液体被悬停 从而导致乘客的晕动病
by suspending the fluid in their inner ears which coordinate balance
但更大的潜在危害 以及刺激在于
But the bigger potential danger – and thrill – comes
过山车设计师们所说的飞行时间
from what ride designers call airtime.
当乘客有各自的座位
This is when riders typicallyexperience seat separation, and,
又没有相应的防护措施
without the proper precautions,
发射
ejection.
现代过山车的许多安全带
The numerous belts and harnessesof modern coasters
很大程度上解决了这个问题
have largely solved this issue,
但是乘客不断变化的位置使人难以确定
but the passenger’s ever-changing position can make it difficult
所需安全带的长度 还好
to determine what needs to bestrapped down. Fortunately,
现代过山车设计师很了解
modern ride designersare well aware
你的体型 而过山车 可以解决这个问题
of what your body, and the coaster, can handle.
过山车工程师将这两个矛盾的力组合在一起
Coaster engineers play these competingforces against each other,
在无压力的情况下 释放强烈的压力
to relieve periods of intense pressure with periods of no pressure at all.
由于从超重立马转变成失重
And since a quick transition frompositive to negative G-force
会造成抽筋 头痛 还有背和脖子痛
can result in whiplash, headaches,and back and neck pain,
他们避免了速度和方向的突然转变
they avoid the extreme changesin speed and direction
在过去的刺激之旅中 这很是常见
so common in thrill rides of old.
现在的乘客也更加结实
Modern rides are also much sturdier,
会仔细考虑他们需要承受的重力
closely considering the amountof gravity they need to withstand.
重力达到5G时 你会感到身体有五倍重
At 5 G’s, your body feels 5 times heavier;
如果你有100磅
so if you weigh 100lbs,
那你在过山车上时就有500磅
you’d exert the weight of 500 lbs on the coaster.
工程师在设计过山车的支持力时
Engineers have to account forthe multiplied weight
会计算每位乘客所增加的重力
of every passenger when designinga coaster’s supports. Still,
不过 这些游乐设施并不适合所有人
these rides aren’t for everyone.
肾上腺素激增 头重脚轻以及晕动症
The floods of adrenaline,light-headedness, and motion sickness
将不再出现
aren’t going anywhere soon.
但是现在增加的限制 3D模型和仿真软件
But today’s redundant restraints,3D modeling and simulation software
会让过山车比以前更安全更刺激
have made roller coasters saferand more thrilling than ever.
我们对于身体极限的精准了解
Our precise knowledge about thelimits of the human body
有助于修建更快 更高 更多环形的过山车
have helped us build coasters that arefaster, taller, and loopier
而且 它们不会脱离轨道
– and all without going off the rails.

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