倒霉的物理

倒霉的物理

作者:克里斯托弗·牛曼 (Christoph Niemann)

译者:异议

 

Whether we like it or not, human life is subject to the universal laws of physics.

不管我们愿不愿意,人的生命都是受物理定律支配的。

 

My day, for example, starts with a demonstration of Newton’s First Law of Motion.

比如,我的每一天都是从牛顿第一运动定律开始的。

It states, “Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line…”

该定律指出:“正常情况下,身体会保持静止状态,或做匀速直线运动,…”

 

 

“…unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it.”

“…除非有外力加诸其上,迫使其改变状态。”

Based on supercomplicated physical observations, Einstein concluded that two objects may perceive time differently.

基于超级复杂的物理研究,爱因斯坦得出结论,认为两个不同物体对时间的感知可能有所不同。

Based on simple life experience, I have concluded that this is true.

基于生活的简单经验,我确定这理论是真的。

 

 

Newtonʼs Cradle shows how energy travels through a series of objects.

牛顿摆试验显示了能量是如何通过一系列物体来进行传递的。

In our particular arrangement, kinetic energy is ultimately converted into a compression of the forehead.

在我们的精心编排下,动能最终转化为我额头上挤出来的皱纹。

 

 

The forehead can be uncrumpled by a downward movement of the jaw.

通过下巴向下的运动,前额可以平复如初。

 

 

Excessive mechanical strain will compromise the elasticity of most materials, though.

但过度的机械应力会损害大多数材料的弹性。

 

 

The human body functions like a combustion engine. To produce energy, we need two things:

人体就像一台内燃机。为了产生能量,我们需要两件东西:

– Oxygen, supplied through the nostrils (once the toy car is removed, that is).

– 氧气,通过鼻孔提供(在没有被玩具车堵住的时候)。

– Carbohydrates, which come in various forms (vanilla, chocolate, dulce de leche).

– 碳水化合物,以各种形式被摄取(香草口味,巧克力口味,法式口味)。

 

 

By the by: I had an idea for a carb-neutral ice cream.

OK,我想出了一个关于零增肥冰淇淋的主意。

All you need is to freeze a pint of ice cream to -3706 F.

你只需要把一品脱冰淇淋冻到零下3706华氏度。

The energy it will take your system to bring the ice cream up to a digestible temperature is roughly 1,000 calories, neatly burning away all those carbohydrates from the fat and sugar.

这样一来,你把它恢复到可吃的温度所花费的能量,大约是1000卡路里,正好可以抵消掉这些冰淇淋中的脂肪和糖所含的碳水化合物。

The only snag is the Third Law of Thermodynamics, which says it’s impossible to go below -459 F.

唯一的问题是,根据热力学第三定律,温度不可能低于零下459华氏度。

Bummer.

倒霉。

 

 

But back to Newton: he discovered that any two objects in the universe attract each other, and that this force is proportional to their mass.

还是回到牛顿吧:他发现,在宇宙中任何两个物体都会相互吸引,而且这股引力和它们的质量成正比。

The Earth is heavier than the Moon, and therefore attracts our bodies with a much greater force.

地球比月亮更重,因此对我们身体的引力更大。

 

 

This explains why an empty refrigerator administrates a much smaller gravitational pull than, say, one thatʼs stacked with 50 pounds of delicious leftovers. Great: that means we can blame the leftovers.

这就解释了为什么一个空空如也的冰箱对我们的吸引力,远远小于装着50磅美味剩菜的冰箱。妙啊:这意味着我们可以赖到剩饭剩菜头上。

 

 

(Fig. A): Letʼs examine the behavior of particles in a closed container.

(图A):让我们来观察一下粒子在封闭容器中的行为。

(Fig. B): The more particles we squeeze into the container, the testier they will become, especially if the container happens to be a rush-hour downtown local at 86th and Lex.

(图B):如果我们把更多的粒子挤入容器中,它们将变得易爆,特别是当这个容器正好是高峰期的下城86街和莱克星顿大道路口的那个地铁站。

(Fig. C): Usually the particles will distribute evenly, unless there is a weird-looking puddle on the floor.

(图c):通常粒子会分布均匀,除非地板上有一滩奇怪的的不明液体。

 

 

The probability of finding a seat on the subway is inversely proportional to the number of people on the platform.

在地铁上找到座位的概率,与站台上的人数成反比。

Even worse, the utter absence of people is 100 percent proportional to just having missed the train.

更糟的是,如果站台上完全没有人,那么你百分之百的是误了刚开走的地铁。

 

 

To describe different phenomena, physicists use various units.

为了描述不同的现象,物理学家使用不同的单位。

PASCALS, for example, measure the pressure applied to a certain area.

比如,帕斯卡是用来测量某处面积所受压力的单位。

COULOMBS measure electric charge (that can occur if said area is a synthetic carpet)

库仑是测量静电电荷的单位(如果前述面积是一块合成纤维地毯的话,这种情况就有可能发生。)

DECIBELS measure the intensity of the trouble the physicist gets into because he didnʼt take off his shoes first.

分贝是测量麻烦强度的单位,——如果本物理专家忘了脱鞋的话。

 

 

Often those units are named after people to recognize historic contributions to their field of expertise. One NEWTON, for example, describes the force that is necessary to accelerate 1 kilogram of mass by one meter per second squared.

这些单位往往是用人的名字来命名,以纪念对该领域有历史性贡献的专家们。比如,一“牛顿”是使得一千克质量产生一米/秒平方的加速度所使用的力量。

This is not to be confused with one NIEMANN, which describes the force necessary to make a three-year-old put on his shoes and jacket when weʼre already late for kindergarten.

这可不能跟“牛曼”搞混:一“牛曼”指的是在已经误了幼儿园的情况下,给一个三岁的孩子穿上鞋和外套所需要使用的力量。

 

 

Once the child is ready to go, I search for my keys. I start spinning around to scan my surroundings. This rotation exposes my head and all its contents to centrifugal forces, resulting in loss of hair and elongated eyeballs. That’s why I need to wear prescription glasses, which are yet another thing I constantly misplace.

一旦孩子准备好了,我就开始找钥匙。我开始不停的打转,四处察看。这种旋转使我的头及所有头上物品受到离心力影响,造成脱发和眼球拉长,从而使得我需要戴眼镜,而那也是我经常找不到的一样东西。

 

 

Since Antoine Lavoisier, we all know that “matter can be neither created nor destroyed, though it can be rearranged,” which, sadly, it eventually will.

从安托万·拉瓦锡开始,我们都知道“物质既不能创造也不能消灭,但它可以重新排列”。可悲的是,它最终的确如此。

 

 

Not everything can be explained through physics, though. Iʼve spent years searching for a rational explanation for the weight of my wifeʼs luggage. There is none. It is just a cruel joke of nature.

不过,也不是什么都可以用物理来解释。我花了多年时间为我妻子的行李重量寻找合理的解释。根本就没有理由。这就是大自然开的一个残忍玩笑

 

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