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困扰理查德·费曼的意面断裂谜题终于被破解

kira86 于2018-09-10发布 l 已有人浏览
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你是否曾注意过,意大利面不能碎成两段而是碎成三块以上吗?这个连理查德·费曼都很感兴趣的谜题终于被解开了。
    小E英语欢迎您,请点击播放按钮开始播放……

意大利面.jpg
Pasta Problem Cracked!

关于意大利面的问题终于破解了

Physicists concern themselves with problems that are profound. The origins of the universe, the nature of time, the composition of matter. And then, there's spaghetti. A pasta problem has perplexed physicists as celebrated as Richard Feynman, and has even been awarded an Ig Nobel prize. At issue:

物理学家们关心的是那些意义深远的问题。比如宇宙的起源、时间的本质、物质的构成等等。不过还有意大利面。一个关于意大利面的问题困扰着像理查德·费曼这样有名的物理学家,甚至还颁发了一个(关于意大利面)的搞笑诺贝尔奖。这个存在问题就是:

Why spaghetti doesn't break into two pieces. Why it breaks into three pieces or more.

“为什么意大利面不会碎成两半?为何会碎成三块以上。”

Ronald Heisser, now a grad student at Cornell, decided to explore the misbehavior of spaghetti for an undergraduate math course he took at MIT.

罗纳德•海瑟如今是康奈尔大学的一名研究生,他决定在麻省理工学院的本科数学课程中深入研究意大利面这一不合常理的现象。

Now, you may never have noticed it, but it's nearly impossible to break a single, dry piece of spaghetti in half. Feynman allegedly noodled with the puzzle. And Heisser became similarly possessed.

到目前为止,你可能还从未注意到过这一现象,不过你几乎不能把一根干意大利面掰成两断。据说费曼对这个谜题很感兴趣。而海瑟也同样开始对这个谜题着迷。

I'm a little bit of a contrarian person. So I thought it would be fun to try and break it into two. ‘Cause no one said you couldn't do that. They just said why it doesn't break into two.

“我是一个有点叛逆思维的人。因此,我觉得将意大利面分成两半会很有趣。‘因为他们只是说为什么不能分成两半而已,但也没人说过你做不到。’”

In fact, the French researchers who were awarded the Ig Nobel prize in 2006 found that when spaghetti is bent evenly from both ends it will crack near the center, where the stick is most curved. But this initial break sets up a vibrational wave that quickly fractures the rod further. So you get multiple fragments.

事实上,2006年获得搞笑诺贝尔奖的法国研究人员发现,当意大利面条从两端均匀弯曲时,它会在面条中间弯曲幅度最大的地方附近裂开。但是,这个初始断裂会产生一个振动波,振动波会迅速使得面条进一步破裂。从而使得面条断裂成多节。

What Heisser wondered was whether he could somehow get around this vibrational "snapback" effect. And he found you have to do the twist. Heisser built a device for torquing his pasta with precision and he observed the resulting fragmentation with a high-speed camera. He discovered that introducing a twist of around 360 degrees to the long strand allowed him to produce the desired single pair of pasta pieces.

海瑟想知道的是,他是否能在某种程度上避开这种“振动弹回效应”。他发现,弯曲这个步骤是必不可少的。海瑟制造了一种精确的装置来掰弯意大利面,他用高速摄像机观察了最终产生的分裂碎片。他发现,在面条上加一个360°的扭动,他就能做到将面条分为两段。

That's where Vishal Patil, a grad student in mathematics at MIT, comes in:

随后麻省理工学院的数学研究生维沙尔·帕蒂尔参与进来:

So I first heard about this spaghetti problem from coauthors Ronald Heisser and Professor Jörn Dunkel when I first arrived at MIT...and after hearing about this problem, I became interested in developing mathematical models for the fracture of this elastic rod. And in particular, to see if using this model you could find out ways to control the fracture in the rod.

“我第一次听说这个关于意大利面的问题,是在我首次来麻省理工学院的时候,从共同执笔者罗纳德·海瑟和耶恩·邓克儿处听说的,听说这个问题之后,我开始对为这个有弹性的杆(此处指面条)开发数学模型感兴趣。特别想看看,是否可以用这个模型找到控制杆(此处指意大利面)断裂情况的方法。”

Controlling fractures is a big issue in materials science and could have applications in everything from the design of highways and bridges to the engineering of nanotubes.

裂缝控制是材料科学中的一个重大问题,并且还可以将之运用到从公路和桥梁设计到纳米管工程等各领域中去。

Patil's modeling showed that twisting the spaghetti dampens the snapback effect. That's because once the twisted stick is broken, it will try to unwind. This rapid unwinding creates a "twisting wave" that basically blocks the vibrational snapback wave, leaving the spaghetti in two clean pieces. The work is served up in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

帕蒂尔的模型显示,掰弯意大利面会抑制回弹效应。这是因为,掰弯的木棒(此处指意大利面)一旦断裂,力就会试图松开。这种快速的松开会产生一种“扭转波”,这种扭转播基本上可以阻断振动的回弹幅度,让意大利面得以干净利落地地分成两段。该研究发表在《美国国家科学研究院学报》上。

VP: "Although the project was a bit of fun I think it's quite nice when you can find interesting physics and maths lurking behind everyday, mundane objects."

维沙尔·帕蒂尔:“虽然这个项目很有趣,但我认为,当你能在日常的平凡事物背后发现潜藏的有趣的物理和数学(知识),很棒。”

(小e英语Jewel翻译,欢迎捉虫!)

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