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现代炼金术 Modern alchemy

更新时间:2012-09-10    来源/发布:www.en369.cn    作者/编辑:英语作文网

Science and Technolgy.

科技。

Modern alchemy.

现代炼金术。

Turning a line.

进入新的一行。

The race to extend the periodic table continues.

扩展元素周期表的比赛仍在继续。

ONE of the first inklings that chemistry has an underlying pattern was the discovery, early in the 19th century, of lithium, sodium and potassium-known collectively as the alkali metals. Though different from each other they have strangely similar properties. This was one of the observations that led a German chemist called Johann Debereiner to wonder if all chemical elements came in families.

早在19世纪,人们对化学潜在规律已有模糊认知之时,锂、钠、钾被发现,它们同被称为碱金属。 虽然并不相同,它们却有着不可思议的相似性质。 正是这项发现,使德国化学家Johann Debereiner产生怀疑,是否所有的化学元素都是成族出现的。

It took decades to tease out the truth of Debereiner's conjecture, and thus to construct the periodic table-in which the alkali metals form the first column. And it took decades more to explain why the table works (it is to do with the way electrons organise themselves in orbit around atomic nuclei). But it is a fitting tribute to Debereiner's insight that, if all goes well, some time in the next few months will bring the creation of a new alkali metal, element number 119, by his countryman Christoph Dullmann of the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt. With that addition the table will do something which has never happened before. It will grow a new row.

科学家们证实Debereiner猜想的正确性用了数十年的时间,也因此建立了元素周期表——碱金属组成了第一族。 其后又花费了数十年的时间来解释为何周期表是起作用的(与电子绕原子核外轨道运动的方式有关)。 这也恰恰彰显了其同胞Debereiner的深刻洞察力,在即将到来的几个月里,如果一切顺利,德国达姆施塔特市GSI亥姆霍兹重离子研究中心的Christoph Dullmann将合成一个新的碱金属,即元素周期表中第119号元素。 有了这个元素,周期表会发生前所未有的变化 ——延伸出新的一行。

An element's atomic number is the number of protons in its nucleus. These, despite being mutually repulsive because they are positively charged, are held together by a phenomenon called the strong nuclear force. Some of this force is also supplied by neutrons, which outnumber protons in most nuclei and have no electric charge. If, however, there are too many or too few neutrons in a nucleus, that nucleus becomes unstable-in other words, it is radioactive. And the vagaries of quantum physics mean that "too many" and "too few" sometimes overlap, and there is thus no stable isotope (or variant, with fewer or more neutrons) of a particular element.

一种元素的原子序数是其原子核中的质子数。 虽然质子之间因带正电荷而相互排斥,但被强核力聚集在一起。 强核力的一部分也由中子提供,在大多数原子核内,中子比质子数量多,并且不带电荷。 然而,如果核内中子过多或过少,原子核将变得不稳定——即具有放射性。 难以捉摸的量子力学表明,中子"太多"和"太少"有时会重叠出现,因而一些特定的元素没有稳定的同位素(或称变体,核内中子数不同)。

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