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如何解决航行中最大的谜团

How We Solved the Greatest Riddle In Navigation

Ever since we figured out
自从我们发现
that we live on a world bigger than what we could see,
生存的世界比自己看到的更加广阔
our species has been exploring.
人类就一直在探索
But the moment you leave home,
但在离家的那一刻
there’s this one really crucial thing you have to figure out:
你必须弄明白一件至关重要的事:
Where am I now?
我现在在哪?
To modern eyes, it’s a simple question
在现代人看来 这是个简单的问题
because, you know…
因为 你知道……
But figuring out how to figure that out
但一如既往 找到弄清自己在哪的方法
has been one of the ultimate quests of human knowledge, like ever.
始终是人类认知的终极任务之一
In the end, it took more than 400 years of experimenting
最终 为了准确地回答这个问题
and even inventing whole new branches of science
人类进行了400多年的实验
in order to answer that question accurately.
甚至发明了全新的科学分支
And the most surprising connection
这一史诗般的科学探索中
to come out of this epic scientific quest
得出的最令人惊讶的联系
—a discovery that all of us still rely on today,
——一个至今仍为大家所依赖的发现
is that knowing where you are
就是确定你的位置
depends on knowing when you are.
取决于确定你所在位置的时间
[music]
[音乐]
Hey, smart people, Joe here.
嗨 《聪明刷》的观众朋友 我是Joe
So back in like fourth grade geography,
回到四年级的地理课上
you probably learned about these lines
你可能学过地球仪上
that crisscrossed the globe, right?
这些纵横交错的线条 对吧?
Hold on.
稍等
This whole time, this globe hasn’t had latitude and longitude on it.
一直以来 这个地球仪都没有经纬度
No.

[music]
[音乐]
I always keep a backup globe around.
我总会在手边准备一个备用地球仪
Okay, the horizontal ones are latitude,
水平的线条代表纬度
they tell you how far north or south you are from the equator,
纬度告诉你 你在赤道以北或以南多远的地方
which happens to be zero degrees latitude.
而赤道恰好代表零纬度
These vertical ones are longitude
这些垂直的线条代表经度
which tell you how far east or west you are
经度告诉你 你在零度经线
from this line at zero degrees longitude,
以东或以西多远的地方
which slices right through a little burrow of London called Greenwich.
零度经线正好穿过伦敦格林尼治天文台
There’s a reason why that is zero over all of these other lines,
在所有经线中选定这条作为零度经线是有原因的
because of a very particular scientific revolution
因为就在那里
that took place right there.
发生了一场非常特殊的科学革命
This is a story that connects clock makers,
这个故事中有钟表制造商
astronomers, sailors, mathematicians, kings and queens,
天文学家 水手 数学家 国王和王后
space satellites, and even smart bombs.
太空卫星乃至智能炸弹
The discovery at the center of all of this
这一切的核心发现
enabled the creation of the colonial empires
使殖民帝国得以建立
that shaped our modern world
帝国通过为船只
by giving ships a more precise and reliable way
提供更精确 更可靠的方式在公海上航行
to navigate the open seas.
从而塑造了我们的现代世界
Speaking of navigation, how did people used to do that?
说到航行 人们以前是怎么做到的?
Latitude is actually pretty easy to find
要找到纬度其实很容易
’cause you can do it using the sun or other stars,
因为你能借助太阳或其他恒星来测量
which humans have been doing for thousands of years.
人类几千年来一直是这样做的
Here’s just one way to do that
这里仅用一种方法
so you can see how simple it is.
你就能看到它有多简单
The North Star is basically at a fixed point in the sky over the North Pole.
北极星基本在北极上空的一个固定点上
You can figure your latitude
你可以通过
by measuring how high it is in the sky.
测量北极星在天空中的高度来计算纬度
At the equator, zero degrees,
在赤道测量 是零度
it’s basically at the horizon in France,
基本上 在法国的地平线处测量
it’s at about 45 degrees.
约为45度
And at the North Pole,
在北极 北极星位于你头顶上方
it’s 90 degrees up above your head.
与地平线呈90度
Congratulations, you can latitude.
恭喜你 学会测量纬度了
People from the Phoenicians to the Polynesians
从腓尼基人到波利尼西亚人
to early Hindu astronomers
再到早期信奉印度教的天文学家
developed their own tools
人们发明出自己的工具
to interpret the position and movement of stars,
来解释恒星的位置和运动
and figure out how far north or south they were.
计算出恒星在南方或北方的距离
That may even be how ancient aliens
这甚至可能是古代外星人
help the Egyptians align the pyramids.
帮助埃及人排列金字塔的方式
Who put that in the prompter?
谁把这句话放在提词器里的?
That did not happen.
没这回事儿
It wasn’t aliens.
没有外星人
But figuring out longitude is much more difficult
但是计算经度要困难得多
for a really obvious but kind of weird reason
原因很明显 但有点奇怪
because all of those reference points in the sky
因为天空中所有
that you want to use for measuring,
你想用来测量的参考点
they’re moving too as the earth rotates.
也都随着地球的旋转而移动
The earth is spinning, which means the sun and the stars
地球在旋转 这意味着太阳和星星
move across the sky every day,
每天都在天空中移动
so you can’t just use their position to find
所以你不能仅仅用它们的位置
how far you’ve moved in the same direction.
来确定自己在同一方向上移动了多远
But going back to ancient Greeks, like Ptolemy,
然而追溯到古希腊人 比如托勒密
people figured out this pretty neat connection:
人们发现了这种非常巧妙的联系:
To find out how much you’ve moved east or west,
要知道你向东或向西移动了多少距离
you just have to know how far in time you’ve moved.
你只需知道自己移动了多少时间
Let me explain.
我来解释一下
Our planet takes 24 hours to complete
地球自转一周(360度)
one full 360 degree revolution,
需要24小时
which means each hour or 1/24th of a spin
这意味着每小时或每转1/24周
represents 15 degrees of longitude.
转动了经度15度
If it’s 3:00 AM in London, and where I am
如果伦敦此刻是凌晨3点 我所在的地方
the clock says it’s only midnight,
时钟显示为午夜12点
I know that I’m three earth rotation hours away from London
我就知道自己与伦敦相差3个地球自转时
and that means 45 degrees of longitude.
换算成经度 即相差45度
And since I’m earlier, that means I’m west.
并且因为我这儿时间更早 这表示我在西边(西经45度)
That’s it.
就是这样
If you know the time in two places,
若你知道两地的时间
you can figure out longitude.
你就能计算出经度
It sounds simple because today
这听起来很简单 因为如今
knowing exactly what time it is in two places at once is simple.
同时知道两地的准确时间很简单
But getting accurate time 400 years ago
但在400年前 要知道准确的时间
was anything but simple.
绝非易事
And trying to figure out a way that you could do that
想要找到一种方法 让你能
on a moving ship in the middle of the ocean
在大海中央航行的船上找准时间
stumped the brightest minds in the world for centuries.
几个世纪来一直困扰着世上最聪明的人
The search for longitude was like
寻找确定经度的方法就像
searching for the fountain of youth
寻找不老神泉
or a way to turn lead to gold.
或是寻找点石成金的方法
It was this almost mythical quest.
这是一次近乎神话般的探索
And then in the 1700’s, it got real.
直到18世纪 才得以成真
So it’s 1707, and this British admiral
1707年 英国海军上将
named Sir Cloudesley Shovell
克劳德斯利·夏维尔爵士
is leading his fleet home after a little skirmish with the French.
在与法国人发生了一场小型冲突后率舰队返航
Wait, is that his real name?
等等 他真的叫这个名字?
That sounds like the name you’d make up
听上去像你编的名字
to make fun of a pompous British admiral guy.
为了取笑一个浮夸的英国海军上将
Okay, it’s real.
好吧 这是真的
Okay, Sir Cloudesley Shovell,
克劳德斯利·夏维尔爵士
he’d won the fight and were on their way home to celebrate
他打了胜仗 在返航庆祝的途中
when it got really foggy.
海上大雾弥漫
And since back then to navigate out of sight of shore,
当时要在看不到海岸的地方航行
you needed to be able to see the sky,
你需要能看到天空
this basically meant they had no idea where they were.
这意味着大雾中他们根本不知道自己身在何方
After 12 days in bad weather,
在恶劣天气中航行了12天后
Shovell’s best navigators put their heads together
夏维尔麾下最优秀的领航员们群策群力
to try and figure out the fleet’s position.
试图找出船队的位置
Really the only option they had
实际上他们唯一的选择
was to rely on something called dead reckoning,
是依靠一种名为航位推算的方法
basically figuring out where you are
大体通过估计航速和指南针指向
by estimating your speed and compass heading
来确定你的位置
to plot your journey.
从而规划航程
But winds and currents, they make this pretty imprecise,
但风和洋流让这一方法很不准确
and they got it wrong.
他们走错了路
One by one, four very expensive warships
四艘十分昂贵的军舰一艘接一艘地
crashed on the rocky coast of the Scilly Isles.
在锡利群岛的岩岸边触礁沉没
Wait, that’s their real name?
等等 真有这么一个群岛?
That sounds like the name you’d make up
听上去像你编的名字
to make fun of some very British islands.
为了取笑听起来很英国范儿的群岛
So on the rocks of the Scilly Islands,
于是在锡利群岛的岩石海岸边
like 2,000 sailors died, making Shovell’s error
约有2000名水手丧生 令夏维尔的失误
one of the biggest screw ups in the history of ocean navigation.
成了航海史上规模最大的海难之一
For early sailors,
对早期的水手来说
mistakes like this could be deadly in more ways than one,
这样的失误在很多方面都是致命的
even if you didn’t crash,
即使船没有触礁沉没
unnecessarily long journeys
不必要的长途航行
meant your crew might starve or get scurvy,
意味着你的船员也许会挨饿或患上坏血病
and nobody likes scurvy.
没人喜欢得坏血病
Plus because ships had to follow established routes,
此外 由于船只必须按既定路线航行
that increased your chances of running into pirates or your enemies.
这增加了你遇到海盗或敌人的可能性
So in 1714, these misadventures
1714年 对君主制的英国而言
had proven just too much for the monarchy
这些不幸事件过于频繁
and the British government set up a prize,
于是英国政府设立了一个奖项
20,000 pounds to anyone who figured out
悬赏两万英镑 用来奖励
how to accurately find longitude at sea.
知道如何在海上找准经度的人
And you’re like, “Ooh, big deal, 20,000 pounds?”
你会说“哦 有啥大不了的 就两万英镑?”
Well, factoring in inflation,
考虑到通胀因素
the Longitude prize would be worth around 6 million today,
“经度奖”价值约为现在的600万美元
that’s like six times what you’d get for a Nobel Prize.
相当于你能获得的诺贝尔奖金的6倍
Figuring this out would save lives and money
测算出经度可以拯救生命 节省资金
but these Imperial Navys definitely also realized that
而帝国海军肯定也意识到了
whoever was first to figure this out
谁最先搞清楚这件事
would open up the world.
谁就能开辟新世界
Now remember, people had been trying to solve this riddle
记住 很久以来人们一直在试图
for a long time.
解开这个谜题
The biggest science brains of history had tried and failed
史上最伟大的科学家曾尝试过 但都失败了
because no one could figure out
因为没人能找到
how you could accurately know what time it is
在遥远的异地
in some far off place.
准确测算时间的方法
Everyone trying to win the prize
每个试图获奖的人
basically settled on one of two strategies:
基本上都选用了以下两种策略之一:
The first one, let’s call them Team Almanac,
第一种 估且称之为“年历队”
realized if you and someone else
他们认为如果你和其他某些人
could both observe some astronomical event
都能在同一时刻
at the same moment,
观测到某个天文事件
and you knew exactly when that event should happen,
并且你知道这一事件发生的准确时间
you could figure out the time difference
你就能计算出
between the two locations.
两地间的时差
Let’s just say hypothetically,
让我们假设一下
every day at a specific moment, this one star turns purple
每天在某个特定时刻 这颗恒星会变成紫色
for exactly one second.
持续正好一秒钟
In London, we know that happens at 3:00 AM,
在伦敦 这会发生在凌晨3点
this is fake and doesn’t happen,
尽管这是假的 不会发生
but it gets the idea across.
但很好地解释了这一想法
I’m sailing on a ship and wherever I am,
我乘船航行时 无论身在何处
I look up and I see that star blink purple,
抬头看到那颗星星闪烁着紫色光芒
I check my local clock and it’s only 12 midnight.
我查看了本地时钟 此刻才午夜12点
Now I know that I’m three hours
现在我知道自己与伦敦
of earth rotation from London, and like I said before,
相差3个地球自转时 正如前文所述
that means I’m 45 degrees west of London.
这意味着我在伦敦以西45度
So that is a completely made up example,
这是一个完全虚构的例子
but thanks to astronomers watching the sky
但多亏了天文学家观察天空
and writing stuff down,
并记录所得
and thanks to all that math that people like Newton invented,
多亏牛顿等人发明的数学
people had gotten pretty good at predicting the movements
人们已经非常擅长于预测
of stars and stuff on future dates.
未来恒星与物体的运动
There were literal books
有文字记载的书籍中
full of where different sky objects would be
写满了不同天体在不同时间和日期
at different times and dates.
所处的位置
But this was not easy.
但做到这一点并不容易
Assembling all of that astronomical information
收集所有这些天文信息
took literal decades of observations
需要数十年的观察
and very complex calculations by hand
和十分复杂的手工计算
and your location was only as good
而你测算的天体位置也不会
as the information in your little almanac.
比小年历本中记录的信息好到哪去
All this precision astronomy was really new back then.
但凡高精度天文学 在当时都是全新的
So if your little book was wrong,
所以 如果你的小年历本错了
your longitude calculation would be off too.
你的经度计算也会出错
So the second team, let’s call them Team Clock,
第二组 估且称之为“时钟队”
said, “What if we could just make this easier,
声称“若我们让这件事变得更简单些
cut out all that astronomical math stuff
忘掉所有的天文数学
and just carry an accurate clock
仅仅带上一个
that always tells us what time it is
一直显示零度经线处时间的精确时钟
back at zero degrees longitude?
会怎么样呢?
Then just compare that with your local time
然后只需和本地时间比较
and bam, you know your longitude.”
嘭 你就知道自己的经度了”
The thing is, keeping time on a ship wasn’t easy either.
问题是 在船上计时也不容易
You could figure out local time, wherever you were
你可以计算出当地时间 无论身在何处
by marking noon each day
只要等太阳升至最高点
by waiting for the sun to reach its highest point,
就能每天标记正午时刻
but knowing what time it was back in Greenwich, no way,
但要知道格林威治时间 不可能
because clocks that kind of stunk.
因为时钟会有点问题
Pendulum clocks, they don’t keep very good time at sea
摆钟在海上走时不太准
because motion on the ocean messed with their swings
因为海上的起伏干扰了它们的摆动
and their metal parts were sensitive to changes in temperature and pressure.
并且其金属部件对温度和压力的变化很敏感
They’d slow down, speed up,
摆钟会减速 加速
or sometimes just stop running entirely.
有时甚至完全停摆
Mechanical clocks, the ones with springs and stuff
那些带弹簧之类部件的机械钟
weren’t much better at the time,
此时也好不到哪儿去
a few weeks at sea with a bad mechanical watch
带着走时不准的机械钟表出海几周
and your Greenwich time is wrong.
你的格林威治时间就出错了
What they needed was to build a better clock
他们需要的是制造一台
than anyone had ever built.
更好的 前所未有的时钟
And the person who finally did that was a carpenter
而最终做到这一点的是一个
from Nowheresville, England.
来自无名小镇的英国木匠
John “Longitude” Harrison.
约翰·“经度”·哈里森
I have no idea if they actually called him that,
我不知道当时人们是否真的这么称呼他
but they probably should have,
也许该这么称呼
he really has a nice ring to it.
听起来的确很不错
No one really knows how John Harrison
没人真正知道约翰·哈里森
got so good at making clocks,
怎么能如此擅长制作钟表
but he was a self-taught timekeeping genius.
而他是个自学成才的计时天才
You could say he was the first big TikTok-er.
你可以说他是第一位TikTok大佬
[crickets chirping]
[蟋蟀鸣叫声]
After like 40 years of tinkering and prototyping,
经过约40年的修修补补和原型设计
Harrison built a clock based around a spring
哈里森做出了一个钟表
made from this new kind of steel
它以新型钢制成的弹簧
and these low friction bearings made from literal jewels and gems.
以及珠宝与宝石制成的低摩擦轴承为基础
When it was tested at sea,
在海上进行测试时
it didn’t lose more than a second over a whole month.
一整个月内 时钟的误差不超过一秒
Even the most expensive Swiss watches today
即使是如今最昂贵的瑞士手表
can drift by seconds every 24 hours.
每24小时也会偏差几秒钟
So Harrison’s marine chronometers
因此 哈里森的航海计时器
were some of the most precise machines ever built.
是有史以来最精准的机械之一
And ultimately he ended up winning the Longitude Prize.
最终他赢得了经度奖
Their new longitudinal prowess gave British sailors
这种测算经度的新技艺让英国水手
an advantage when it came to navigation
在航海方面占据了优势
and was not a small reason
这也是英国国旗占领全球的
their flag came to dominate the globe.
一个重要原因
And meanwhile, all the cutting edge astronomical work
与此同时 皇家天文台所开展的
happening at the Royal Observatory
最前沿的天文学工作
and the fact that they were in charge of the Longitude Prize
以及他们负责“经度奖”的事实
put Greenwich on the map for all of history
使得格林威治青史留名
when that meridian was officially named
本初子午线被正式命名为
Zero Degrees Longitude.
零度经线
I mean, think about it,
我是说 想想看
unlike the equator for latitude,
与赤道的纬度不同
zero degrees longitude could technically be anywhere, right?
技术角度看 零度经线能在任何地方对吧?
But because of all of this history,
但由于这段历史
this line is where longitude is measured from today.
这条线从今往后就是测量经度的初始位置
Most people don’t think about longitude much today
如今大多数人都不怎么思考经度问题了
but it unlocked this really strange idea
但它解开了一个从古希腊人起
that had been floating around since the ancient Greeks.
就流传下来的奇怪想法
Knowing when you are can tell you where you are.
知道你所在位置的时间 能让你知道自己在哪
And this same idea is why every time you open your phone up
这也是为什么每次打开手机看地图时
and look at a map, you know precisely where you are.
你都能准确地知道自己在哪
The GPS satellites orbiting our planet
环绕地球运行的GPS卫星群
send out time coded messages.
传递出时间编码信息
When one reaches a GPS receiver,
当某条信息到达GPS接收器时
it compares its local time to the time that message was sent.
它会比较本地时间与消息发送的时间
And since it traveled at the speed of light,
由于信息以光速传播
it can calculate you are somewhere on a sphere
它能计算出你在距此卫星
a certain distance from that satellite.
一定距离的地球上的某处
Do that with three or four satellites,
用三到四颗卫星计算
it’s enough to pinpoint your position
就足以将你的位置
to one particular spot on the globe.
精确定位到地球上的某一特定点
This key connection between time and location
从强大的军用机械
underlies so much of our modern life,
到单纯和妈妈喝一杯摩卡
from mighty military machines
这种时间和地点间的关键联系
to simply meeting your mom for a mocha.
奠定了我们现代生活的基础
Those clocks today might be atomic
今天的时钟可能是原子钟
rather than run on gears and springs,
而不是齿轮和弹簧驱动的
but it relies on that same key connection,
但它同样依赖于这一关键联系
knowing when you are, can tell you where you are.
即知道你所在位置的时间就能知道你在哪
Thanks for watching,
感谢收看
and I’ll see you next time, wherever that is.
不管在哪儿 我们下次再见
Stay curious.
保持好奇心
Thank you so much for watching this video
万分感谢收看本视频
and hanging out with us.
与我们共度时光
We hope you learned something.
希望你学到了些东西
And make sure that you like, subscribe,
记得点赞 订阅
maybe leave a comment down below,
或在下面留言
hit that bell icon so you can find out
点击通知图标 这样你就能
when we upload new videos before anyone else.
在别人之前知道我们何时上传新视频
All of this helps people find our videos.
这些都能帮你找到我们的视频
New curious learners, thank you very much.
好奇的新学习者们 万分感谢
And we also wanna make sure you know that we have a Patreon page
另外希望你知道我们有一个Patreon页面
where you can help us make more videos like this one
通过直接支持本节目 你能帮我们
by supporting the show directly.
制作更多这样的视频
No ads, no algorithms.
没有广告 没有算法
There’s a link down in description.
下方说明栏中有个链接
See you later, phew, phew.
回见 咻 咻
You know one cool Patreon perk we have
我们有一个很酷的Patreon福利
is the ability to send in a dad joke for me to read.
就是能发一个冷笑话给我看
Like why am I always sitting on my watch?
比如 为什么我总在看时间?
So that I’m on time, from meeting a friend for coffee
这样我才能准时 无论是约朋友喝咖啡
to, well, dropping smart bombs.
还是扔智能炸弹
See you next time, wherever that is.
不管在哪儿 下回见

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视频概述

本视频讲述了如何确定纬度和经度,特别是确定经度的方法。在没有智能手机的年代,人们如何定位?时间和地点又有何联系?一起去看看吧。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Kris

审核员

审核员MZM

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o3_w0Ypb78

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