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最近天体物理学为我们做了什么? – 译学馆
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最近天体物理学为我们做了什么?

What Has Astrophysics Done For You Lately? | Alex Filippenko bigthink

大想法
big think
有人可能会想 天文学或任何
One can wonder why does astronomy,
关于此的抽象的纯粹的研究会有什么用
or any sort of abstract pure research for that matter,
它会对我们以及这世上的普通人
make any difference to us,
有什么影响?
to the typical person in the world?
好的 首先
Well, first of all,
对宇宙进行思考
thinking about the universe,
并找出事物工作的原理
and figuring out how things work
在所有动物中只有人类才会做这样的事
is something that of all animals only humans can do,
只有我们才有智力 好奇心
only we have the intellect, the curiosity,
以及对生拇指来制造机器
the opposable thumb with which to build machines
去探索自然
to explore nature.
所以我们中就应当有人去做它
So some of us should do it.
第二 在所有这之类的发现中
Second of all these kinds of discoveries,
关于宇宙的发现能让孩子们感到兴奋
discoveries about the cosmos, excite kids.
我想说 天文学是入门科学
You know, I like to say that astronomy is the gate way science.
它能让人对科学和技术感兴趣
It gets kids interested in science and technology,
因为当他们听到这些惊人的发现
because they hear about all these amazing discoveries.
我自己就是一个为阿波罗登月计划
I, myself, as a kid was thrilled by
感到兴奋的孩子
the lunar landings of the Apollo mission.
现在大部分孩子不再关心天体物理学了
Now most kids won’t go on into astrophysics,
但他们开始研究科学和技术
but what they’ll do is they’ll study science and technology,
并进入相关的领域
and they’ll go into fields
那对社会就有更多直接的作用
that are more immediately useful to society,
比如应用物理学 工程学
such as applied physics and engineering,
计算机科学和医学物理学
and computer science and medical physics.
但你知道 引起他们兴趣的总是天文学
But you know, the bug that bites them is often astronomy. 
我们也从不知道 它最后会给未来
And finally, you never know
带有什么样的实际的副产品
what practical spinoffs there might be.
让我来举一些例子
and let me give you a few examples.
一世纪以前 量子物理学家
A century ago, when quantum physicists,
如爱因斯坦 波尔 海森堡和薛定谔等
such as Einstein and Bohr, and Heisenberg and Schrodinger,
正在研究量子物理
were developing quantum physics.
他们没有去想一点点的实际用途
They had not the slightest practical application in mind.
他们既不是为了出名
They didn’t want to make a better toaster,
也不是为了得到一辆更好的自行车等物质条件
or a better bicycle or whatever.
他们只是想要理解光的本质
They wanted to understand the nature of light,
理解为什么原子会存在和稳定
and why atoms exist, why atoms are stable,
以及其它这之类的问题
and other such questions of that sort,
这些都与我们的日常生活相去甚远
that seem incredibly far removed from our everyday lives.
好了 向前推进一个世纪
Well, fast forward a century,
如果没有对微观物理和
you could not imagine today’s high-tech world,
量子世界的理解 今天的高科技世界
without an understanding of the microphysics,
是不可想象的
the quantum world.
比如 看看电子技术革命 看看激光
Look at the silicon revolution for example. Look at lasers.
看看周遭的一切事物
Look at nearly everything,
那都源自于量子物理
it all stems from quantum physics.
一百年前谁能想到这些?
Who would’ve thought that a century ago? 
另一个可能更抽象的想法是
Another even perhaps more abstract idea
爱因斯坦的广义相对论
is Einstein’s general theory of relativity,
这个理论是关于质量或能量的存在
the theory that the presence of mass or energy,
会引起周围时间和空间
curves or warps the shape of space,
扭曲的
and of time around it.
举例来说
So, for example,
我们的太阳形成了一个空间涟漪
our sun forms a dimple in space,
地球在这个涟漪中沿其自然路径运动
and earth moves along its natural path through that dimple.
同理 地球自身也形成一个涟漪
So too, earth forms a dimple,
月亮在这样的弯曲空间中
and the moon moves along its natural path,
沿其自然路径运动
through that warped space.
这就是引力的原理
That’s what gravity is.
牛顿有一个引力公式
Alright, Newton had a formula for gravitational attraction.
但他不知道那代表什么
but he didn’t know what it was.
而爱因斯坦提出了一个理论
And Einstein came up with a theory.
你可能会说 只要引力起作用 谁关心那些
Well, you might say who cares, as long as gravity works.
谁会关心准确的原理是什么
You know, what do we care what the exact mechanism is?
爱因斯坦的理论预言最后被证实了
Well, it turns out that Einstein’s theory makes predictions,
它和牛顿的理论预言有微小的差别
that are in subtle ways different from Newton’s predictions.
而对于全球定位系统如GPS
And for things like the global positioning system, GPS,
你就不得不考虑广义相对论的作用
you have to take the effects of general relativity into account.
还有上面空间中的卫星时钟
The clocks in the satellites up in space,
这些卫星和你车上的设备进行通讯
these satellites communicate with your device in your car,
它们运行的速度比地球上的时钟
they run at a slightly faster speed
稍微快一点
than the clocks here on earth.
如果这些讯息的时钟频率差异
And if that difference in the rate of passage of time,
没有被设计和制造GPS的
had not been taken into account
物理学家和工程师们
by the physicist and engineers,
考虑进去
who designed and built the GPS system,
那GPS就不能工作
GPS wouldn’t work.
对于一些具有极其重要的军事和商业价值的东西
So here’s something of incredible military and commercial value,
如果我们不能根据爱因斯坦所说的
that simply would not work,
弯曲时空的理论
if we didn’t understand gravity
对引力有个基本的理解
in a fundamental way according to Einstein,
那它们将不能工作
this idea of curved space time.
再说一次
So again, who would’ve thought
一个世纪以前
that a century ago,
当爱因斯坦研究相对论时
when Einstein was developing the general theory of relativity,
谁又能想到它会有这么重要的实际应用?
that it would have this incredible practical application?
广义相对论的一个极端预言是黑洞
Sure we might never get close to a black hole,
而我们可能永远都接近不了它
which is an extreme prediction of general relativity.
但这没关系
But it doesn’t matter.
它是一个成熟的美丽的理论
The theory was developed, it’s beautiful,
它让孩子们感到兴奋
it excites kids,
而且它甚至还有实际应用
and it even has practical applications.
我们不知道天文学的许多东西
So with much of astronomy,
将会给未来带来什么副产品
we don’t know what the spin-offs will be.
但我们知道 作为人类
But we do know, that as humans,
我们可以实现这些目标
we can accomplish these goals,
我们能让孩子们感到兴奋
and we can also excite kids
让他们进入科学和技术的领域中
into pursuing areas of science and technology.
依我看来 这真的很好
And that in my opinion, is really good.
BIGTHINK.COM
BIGTHINK.COM

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视频概述

有人可能认为天体物理学没什么用或者它和我们的日常生活没什么关系。但本篇视频将告诉你天体物理学得重要作用,包括量子物理、广义相对论和引力等。

听录译者

红花老七

翻译译者

B11101001

审核员

审核SC

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVzZU0dt5fc

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