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SSS 2010-02-18

时间:2010-05-20 03:10来源:互联网 提供网友:mark@li   字体: [ ]
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Welcome to the Science Talk, the weekly podcast of Scientific American posted on February 18th, 2010. I am Steve Mirsky.

 

And you know what the hottest sport in the world is right now? Thanks to the Winter Olympics, it is, of course, curling. That's the one where the guy slides  the big heavy rock down the ice while two other guys furiously sweep the ice in front of the moving rock. Or maybe you've seen this fairly hilarious1 commercial on NBC promoting Olympic curling.

 

"This skip brings the hammer, you know some only push this one too thin."

"Nice stroke!"

"Oh, it's got a good line!"

"Good line. "

"Down the sheet, it then comes!"

"This one's got a chance! (It's got it.)Oh, went to the house(It's got it.). Until moves steal a goal. These until moves steal a goal. The American attempt to deliver a message. Not in my house! Not time!"


 

The spike2 in curling interest prompted David Letterman once and I to say..."

 

"I told the excitement of a shuffleboard curling. Uh, but household insurers, you know, it just..."

 

In this top 10 list of surprising things about curling No.1 was-no one cares. But we know that's not true, we know that you care. Because curling is all about physics which is why four years ago after the last Winter Olympics, I interviewed a scientist named Mark Shegelski from University of Northern British Columbia. He studies curling physics. Back then this program had a different format3 of short interviews and I run only five minutes of the conversation I had with Shegelski. But with more time now to talk, I went back and I re-edited the entire long conversation I had with him. So sit back with some hot cocoa. And maybe intro physics textbook because here we go.

 

"You are not a full-time4 curling physicist5. What do you do with most of your time?"

 

"Well, most of the time I am teaching. Roughly 30 percent of the time or 40 percent of my time go to research. And my research currently in the area of  quantum mechanical tunneling in decay."

 

"People might not have heard of quantum tunneling in decay. Can you  briefly6 explain what that is?"

 

"Well, if you imagine a marble inside of a ball, and it’s rolling around in that ball, if it doesn't have enough energy to get ride out to the top, it's going to stay in the ball. And it won't ever get outside. If you then consider the cause of the same problem but on a quantum mechanical field. So you are thinking of, for example, of a particle such as an electron. If it is experiencing the same kind of  potential, it's in the well of ball and there is a barrier that the electron needs to overcome to get outside. What is found is that, well-known is that particles emerge from inside of the potential ball of the potential well, and they emerge outside with less energy than we use needs to have clear the barrier, in other words, the energy of the particle is below the maximum of the potential well for the particle."

 

"So they have snooker right through the wall?"

 

"So, yeah. They were tunneling come from, it’s this, thinking about from our  everyday experience, it’s this, the particle somehow tunneled through this barrier, the potential that had to get over and they got out with less energy than they have to get over. So from an everyday experience, point of view, from an everyday point of view, you couldn’t really understand that except this, somehow they are so true. The detail of quantum mechanics to find out how this happens. And there’re some problems that are still need to be solved in this area and that's the area that I am looking at."

 

"So one of the really weird7 things about quantum mechanics, but…"

 

"Yeah, pretty much. Most things about quantum mechanics are in  opposition8 to our regular everyday experiences. So I wanna first thing, students have to do in learning quantum mechanics is that they have to give up the regular everyday ideas that we have and adapt a new way of looking at things. And that's since quantum mechanics is quite difficult because it isn't something that you experience on the daily basis. "

 

 

"And that brings we to curling, believe it, right? I know that you have done some scholarly studies of the physics of curling. And the reason I got in  touch was, I was watching curling during the Olympics and you see these people furiously sweeping9 the ice in front of these big heavy grounded rocks. It’s going down the ice. Then, what are those sweepers actually  accomplishing from the physics point of view?"

 

"Oh,there are several things. The most important one is that by sweeping in front of the ice, you are reducing the friction10 between the rock and the ice. And let's just stay with that for a bit, with the reduce of friction the rock still flows down, but it doesn't flow down as quickly. And so therefore, if you sweep a rock vigorously in front, if you sweep the ice in front of the rock, you can actually make the rock go quite a bit further than it would go if you  didn't sweep."

 

"And, what is actually happening when you sweep? Are they melting the  surface?"

 

"Okay, to get an answer to that. On the equivoque, it's quite difficult.  But there are some things that are generally agreed upon. First of all, by sweeping the ice you are putting energy into the ice. And so, you know that the important thing is that what govern the motion of the rock is what’s going on between the thing contact ring of the rock and the ice that it's touching11. And you know, if you turn over curling rock and look at that,you notice that it is not the case that there is a circle in contact with the rock, it's a thin ring. And the ice itself is also not flat, it's pebbled12 as little hills and valleys so that the actual area of contact is quite small and therefore there is a large pressure of the rock on the ice. Now in sweeping in front of the ice you are bringing the temperature to the ice, after that, it reduces the friction. But you are also creating a thin film of a quality liquid type of material. This is something that is not fully13 agreed upon by everybody, but the work that we've done strongly supports the idea that the key thing going on is the friction that is due to this thin liquid film. In fact, we did a number of experiments, Dr. Yangsen and I, with my colleagues at the university of Northern British Columbia. And we we did a number of experiments and then applied14 the theory that I had  developed, and we modified that theory, applied it and we could explain many things using the idea of there is a thin liquid film there, as opposed to that there is not a film there. So I'm very, I'm strongly convinced that there is a thing like a film there, and it plays a key role. With the liquid film you have better lubrication to the rock, and so you have less friction. And that's how the sweeping they could go further like this."

 

"And your most recent curling publication, you had, I think four that I found, is that right? How many scholarly papers on curling have you published?"

 

"Uh, more than I'd like to admit. It turns out that, you know, in  first studying to look at the problem. You anticipate so many interesting questions came up. And I don't actually remember how many I have published but it's something like eight, or something like that. But the one that is the most important in my opinion is the most recent paper that Dr. Yangsen and I collaborated15 on and published in the Canadian Journal of Physics in November of 2004."

 

"And that's the motion of curling rocks experimental investigation  in semi-phenomenon logical description."

 

"Exactly."

 


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 hilarious xdhz3     
adj.充满笑声的,欢闹的;[反]depressed
参考例句:
  • The party got quite hilarious after they brought more wine.在他们又拿来更多的酒之后,派对变得更加热闹起来。
  • We stop laughing because the show was so hilarious.我们笑个不停,因为那个节目太搞笑了。
2 spike lTNzO     
n.长钉,钉鞋;v.以大钉钉牢,使...失效
参考例句:
  • The spike pierced the receipts and held them in order.那个钉子穿过那些收据并使之按顺序排列。
  • They'll do anything to spike the guns of the opposition.他们会使出各种手段来挫败对手。
3 format giJxb     
n.设计,版式;[计算机]格式,DOS命令:格式化(磁盘),用于空盘或使用过的磁盘建立新空盘来存储数据;v.使格式化,设计,安排
参考例句:
  • Please format this floppy disc.请将这张软盘格式化。
  • The format of the figure is very tasteful.该图表的格式很雅致。
4 full-time SsBz42     
adj.满工作日的或工作周的,全时间的
参考例句:
  • A full-time job may be too much for her.全天工作她恐怕吃不消。
  • I don't know how she copes with looking after her family and doing a full-time job.既要照顾家庭又要全天工作,我不知道她是如何对付的。
5 physicist oNqx4     
n.物理学家,研究物理学的人
参考例句:
  • He is a physicist of the first rank.他是一流的物理学家。
  • The successful physicist never puts on airs.这位卓有成就的物理学家从不摆架子。
6 briefly 9Styo     
adv.简单地,简短地
参考例句:
  • I want to touch briefly on another aspect of the problem.我想简单地谈一下这个问题的另一方面。
  • He was kidnapped and briefly detained by a terrorist group.他被一个恐怖组织绑架并短暂拘禁。
7 weird bghw8     
adj.古怪的,离奇的;怪诞的,神秘而可怕的
参考例句:
  • From his weird behaviour,he seems a bit of an oddity.从他不寻常的行为看来,他好像有点怪。
  • His weird clothes really gas me.他的怪衣裳简直笑死人。
8 opposition eIUxU     
n.反对,敌对
参考例句:
  • The party leader is facing opposition in his own backyard.该党领袖在自己的党內遇到了反对。
  • The police tried to break down the prisoner's opposition.警察设法制住了那个囚犯的反抗。
9 sweeping ihCzZ4     
adj.范围广大的,一扫无遗的
参考例句:
  • The citizens voted for sweeping reforms.公民投票支持全面的改革。
  • Can you hear the wind sweeping through the branches?你能听到风掠过树枝的声音吗?
10 friction JQMzr     
n.摩擦,摩擦力
参考例句:
  • When Joan returned to work,the friction between them increased.琼回来工作后,他们之间的摩擦加剧了。
  • Friction acts on moving bodies and brings them to a stop.摩擦力作用于运动着的物体,并使其停止。
11 touching sg6zQ9     
adj.动人的,使人感伤的
参考例句:
  • It was a touching sight.这是一幅动人的景象。
  • His letter was touching.他的信很感人。
12 pebbled 9bbe16254728d514f0c0f09c8a5dacf5     
用卵石铺(pebble的过去式与过去分词形式)
参考例句:
  • And quick to the white-pebbled bottom it fell! 接着它飞快地回落到白色卵石的井底潺潺!
  • Outside, the rain had stopped but the glass was still pebbled with bright drops. 窗外的雨已经停了,但玻璃上还是布满明亮的水珠。
13 fully Gfuzd     
adv.完全地,全部地,彻底地;充分地
参考例句:
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
14 applied Tz2zXA     
adj.应用的;v.应用,适用
参考例句:
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  • This cream is best applied to the face at night.这种乳霜最好晚上擦脸用。
15 collaborated c49a4f9c170cb7c268fccb474f5f0d4f     
合作( collaborate的过去式和过去分词 ); 勾结叛国
参考例句:
  • We have collaborated on many projects over the years. 这些年来我们合作搞了许多项目。
  • We have collaborated closely with the university on this project. 我们与大学在这个专案上紧密合作。
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