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  • How much can we really know about the universe beyond our galaxy?

    我們究竟能了解自己銀河系以外的宇宙多少?

  • The Hubble Telescope has enabled us to see objects in space as far 13,000,000,000 light years away.

    哈伯望遠鏡可以幫助我們看到太空中距離 130 億光年的物體

  • But this still doesn't give us the answers to all our questions,

    但仍無法解答所有的問題

  • questions like, "What is the universe made of?"

    像是,宇宙是由什麼構成?

  • "Which elements are the most abundant?"

    哪些元素最多?

  • "Does space contain undiscovered forms of matter?"

    太空有沒有尚未發現的物質型態?

  • "Could there be antimatter stars or galaxies?"

    有沒有「反恆星」或「反星系」?

  • Some of these questions cannot be answered solely from visual images,

    有些問題無法單靠影像揭曉

  • but what if we had messengers bringing us physical data from distant parts of the cosmos,

    但是,如果能有某種「太空使者」帶來宇宙遠處的物理資料

  • beyond the reach of explorers or satellites?

    遠超出太空梭和衛星所及呢?

  • In a way, we do, and these "space messengers" are called cosmic rays.

    其實有,這些太空使者叫做「宇宙射線」

  • Cosmic rays were first discovered in 1912 by Victor Hess

    這是在 1912 年,由維克托.赫斯首度發現

  • when he set out to explore variations in the atmosphere's level of radiation,

    他想探索大氣層的輻射程度變化

  • which had been thought to emanate from the Earth's crust.

    當時輻射被認為是由地殼發出

  • By taking measurements on board a flying balloon during an eclipse,

    他趁著日蝕,搭乘氣球升上高空測量

  • Hess demonstrated both that the radiation actually increased at greater altitudes

    結果發現高空的輻射強度增加

  • and that the sun could not be its source.

    並且不是來自太陽

  • The startling conclusion was that it wasn't coming from anywhere

    驚人的結論是

  • within the Earth's atmosphere but from outer space.

    這高幅射並非來自大氣層以下

  • Our universe is composed of many astronomical objects.

    而是來自外太空

  • BIllions of stars of all sizes, black holes, active galactic nuclei,

    我們的宇宙是由許多天體所組成包括無數的恆星、黑洞、活躍星河系

  • asteroids, planets and more.

    小行星、行星和更多的天體

  • During violent disturbances, such as a large star exploding into a supernova,

    發生劇烈騷動時 如大型恆星爆炸成超新星

  • billions of particles are emitted into space.

    會產生無數個粒子,瞬間噴射到太空中

  • Although they are called rays,

    雖然宇宙射線被稱做「射線」

  • cosmic rays consist of these high energy particles

    其實是由這些噴發的高能量粒子所構成

  • rather than the photons that make up light rays.

    不是構成光線的光子

  • While the light from an explosion travels in a straight line at its famous constant speed,

    爆炸產生的光是以直線行進並且等速

  • the particles are trapped in extraordinary loops

    宇宙射線粒子的運行則是沿著超常的迴路

  • by magnetic shock waves generated by the explosion.

    受制於爆炸所產生的磁波

  • Crossing back and forth through these magnetic field lines accelerates them to almost the speed of light before they escape.

    沿著這些磁場線來回繞行,粒子會被加速到接近光速,然後脫離軌道

  • There are lots of cosmic rays in space, and some of these particles have traveled for billions of years before reaching Earth.

    太空中充滿無數的宇宙射線,有些粒子運行了幾十億年才到達地球

  • When they enter our atmosphere, they collide with the molecules there,

    當宇宙射線射進地球大氣層會擦撞大氣層的分子

  • generating secondary cosmic rays,

    生成炸裂的二次宇宙射線

  • lighter particles with less energy than the original.

    質量較輕,能量減弱

  • Most of these are absorbed into the atmosphere,

    且多數會被大氣層吸收

  • but some are able to reach the ground, even passing through our bodies.

    但是有些粒子會射到地表甚至穿透人體

  • At sea level, this radiation is fairly low.

    在海平面,這種輻射是相當低的

  • But people who spend a lot of time at higher altitudes,

    但是有些人長時間在高空中

  • such as airline crews, are exposed to much more.

    例如機師、空服員則會暴露於較高輻射量

  • What makes cosmic rays useful as messengers

    為什麼宇宙射線有助我們了解太空?

  • is that they carry the traces of their origins.

    因為它們帶來發源處的訊息

  • By studying the frequency with which different particles occur,

    藉著研究不同粒子發生的頻率

  • scientists are able to determine the relative abundance of elements,

    科學家可以鑑別相當多的元素

  • such as hydrogen and helium, within the universe.

    例如宇宙中的氫和氦

  • But cosmic rays may provide even more fascinating information about the fabric of the universe itself.

    但宇宙射線可能提供更驚人的資訊,讓我們認識宇宙本身的構造

  • An experiment called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, A.M.S.,

    有一項實驗叫做「阿爾法磁譜儀」,簡稱 AMS

  • has recently been installed on board the International Space Station,

    近年發射安裝到國際太空站上

  • containing several detectors that can separately measure a cosmic ray particle's velocity, trajectory, radiation, mass and energy,

    AMS 有好幾台偵測儀器,負責分別偵測宇宙射線粒子的速度、 軌跡、輻射、質量和能量

  • as well as whether the particle is matter or antimatter.

    並且辨識粒子是物質或反物質

  • While the two are normally indistinguishable,

    雖然這兩者通常難以分辨

  • their opposite charges enable them to be detected with the help of a magnet.

    但它們電荷相反,可藉助磁力偵測辨識出來

  • The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer is currently measuring 50 million particles per day

    AMS 目前每天測量 5 千萬個粒子

  • with information about each particle being sent in real time from the space station to the A.M.S. control room at CERN.

    並把每個粒子的資訊即時傳回地球,到歐洲核子研究組織的 AMS 控制室

  • Over the upcoming months and years,

    預期未來幾年內

  • it's expected to yield both amazing and useful information about antimatter,

    將可發現關於反物質的驚奇新知、

  • the possible existence of dark matter,

    暗物質的存在可能性、

  • and even possible ways to mitigate the effects of cosmic radiation on space travel.

    甚至找出方法減低宇宙輻射對太空旅行的影響

  • As we stay tuned for new discoveries, look to the sky on a clear night,

    我們邊等待新發現 不妨抬頭仰望清澈的夜空

  • and you may see the International Space Station,

    你可能會看到國際太空站飛過

  • where the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer receives the tiny messengers that carry cosmic secrets.

    載著 AMS 不斷接收微粒子,即將為我們揭開宇宙奧祕

How much can we really know about the universe beyond our galaxy?

我們究竟能了解自己銀河系以外的宇宙多少?

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B2 中高級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 宇宙 射線 粒子 太空 輻射

【TED-Ed】宇宙射線如何幫助我們了解宇宙 (How cosmic rays help us understand the universe - Veronica Bindi)

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    稲葉白兎 發佈於 2016 年 04 月 14 日
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