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  • "The Elegant Universe", hosted by Brian Greene.

    《優雅的宇宙》 主持 布萊恩·格林

  • Based on "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene.

    根據布萊恩·格林著作 《優雅的宇宙》

  • Welcome to the 11th dimension

    第三部 歡迎來到第11維時空

  • Imagine that we were able to control space

    想像一下 我們可以控制空間

  • Or control time.

    或時間

  • The kinds of things that we'd be able to do

    就可以做很多

  • Would be amazing.

    歎為觀止的事情

  • I might be able to go from here...

    我也許能從這裡

  • To here...

    到這裡

  • To here...

    再到這

  • To here...

    或者到這

  • And over to here in only an instant.

    轉瞬間又到這

  • Now,we all think that this kind of trip

    我們都認為這樣的旅行

  • Would be impossible.

    不可能實現

  • And it probably is.

    事實也許如此

  • But in the last few years,

    但在最近幾年

  • Our ideas about the true nature of space and time

    我們的時空觀

  • Have been going through some changes.

    有了不少的改變

  • And things that used to seem like science fiction

    以前在科幻小說中才有的東西

  • Are looking not-so-far-fetched.

    似乎不再遙不可及

  • It's all thanks to a revolution in physics

    這要歸功於一個物理學上的革命

  • Called "string theory,"

    "弦理論"

  • Which is offering a whole new perspective

    弦理論提供了個嶄新的視角

  • On the inner workings of the universe.

    來看待宇宙的內在運行機理

  • String theory holds out the promise that

    弦理論給我們提供了這樣一種前景

  • We can really understand questions of

    它使我們相信我們真的可以

  • Why the universe is the way it is

    從最基本層面上弄清楚

  • At the most fundamental level.

    宇宙為什麼是這樣的

  • String theory is really the wild west of physics.

    弦理論是物理學上的未知領域

  • This is an area of theoretical physics

    屬於理論物理的範疇

  • Which is so radically different from

    從根本上不同於

  • Anything that's been before.

    任何以往的研究

  • This radical new theory starts with the simple premiss

    這個激進的理論有一個前提

  • That everything in the universe,

    即宇宙萬物

  • The earth,these buildings,

    地球 這些建築

  • Even forces like gravity and electricity,

    甚至像引力和電力這樣的力

  • Are made up of incredibly tiny,

    都是由極其微小的

  • Vibrating strands of energy called "strings."

    號稱"弦"的帶能振動細絲組成

  • And small as they are,

    儘管弦很小

  • Strings are changing everything

    卻改變著一切

  • We thought we knew about the universe,

    我們對宇宙的認知

  • Especially our ideas about the nature of space.

    尤其是對空間本質的認識

  • To see how,let's first shrink all of space

    為了看個究竟 我們首先把整個空間

  • To a more manageable size.

    縮小到一個易於觀察的大小

  • Imagine that the whole universe consisted of nothing

    把整個宇宙想像成

  • More than my hometown,manhattan.

    我的家鄉曼哈頓

  • So now,just one borough of new york city

    那麼 紐約市的一個區

  • Makes up the entire fabric of space.

    就構成了整個空間結構

  • And just for kicks,

    好玩起見

  • Let's also imagine that I'm the ceo of a large corporation

    把我想像成華爾街

  • With offices on wall street.

    一家大公司的經理

  • And because time is money,

    時間就是金錢

  • I need to find the quickest route from my apartment,

    我得找到最快路線

  • Here in upper manhattan to my offices in lower manhattan.

    從北曼哈頓公寓趕到南邊的辦公室

  • Now,we all know that the shortest distance

    眾所周知 兩點之間

  • Between two points is a straight line,

    直線距離最短

  • But even if there's no traffic

    即使一路暢通

  • -A bit of a stretch even in our imaginary manhattan-

    這在我們想像中的曼哈頓也難達到

  • It'll still take us some amount of time to get there.

    這段路也要花掉不少時間

  • By going faster and faster,

    隨著速度越來越快

  • We can reduce the travel time.

    可減少路上的時間

  • But because nothing can go faster than the speed of light,

    但因為沒什麼可比光速更快

  • There is a definite limit to how much time

    這段路可省的時間

  • We can cut from our journey.

    是有限的

  • This manhattan universe fits with an old,

    這個曼哈頓型的宇宙

  • Classical vision of space,

    符合古老經典的空間觀

  • Basically a flat grid that's static and unchanging.

    本質上就是靜止不變的平面網格

  • But when Albert Einstein looked at the fabric of space,

    但阿爾伯特·愛因斯坦眼中的空間結構

  • He saw something completely different.

    是完全不同的

  • He said that space wasn't static;

    他認為空間不是靜態的

  • It could warp and stretch.

    而是可彎曲和拉伸的

  • And there could even be unusual structures of space

    甚至存在非常規的空間結構

  • Called "wormholes."

    叫做"蟲洞"

  • A wormhole is a bridge or tunnel

    蟲洞是連接空間不同區域的

  • That can link distant regions of space,

    橋或隧道

  • In effect,a cosmic shortcut.

    實質上 是個宇宙捷徑

  • In this kind of universe,

    在這樣的宇宙中

  • My commute would be a new yorker's dream.

    我的通行路徑是每個紐約人的夢想

  • But there is a hitch, to create a wormhole,

    但製造這麼個蟲洞有個問題

  • You've got to rip or tear a hole in the fabric of space.

    得在空間結構中撕裂或扯開個洞

  • But can the fabric of space really rip?

    但空間結構真的能被撕裂嗎

  • Can this first step toward

    形成蟲洞的第一步

  • Forming a wormhole actually happen?

    真的能實現嗎

  • Well,you can't answer these questions

    餓著肚子

  • On an empty stomach.

    可沒法回答這些問題

  • Turns out that by looking at my breakfast

    通過觀察我的早餐

  • --coffee and a doughnut--

    咖啡和甜甜圈

  • We can get a pretty good sense of

    可以對弦理論關於

  • What string theory says

    空間結構是否可撕裂的答案

  • About whether the fabric of space can tear.

    有個更好的認識

  • Imagine that space is shaped like this doughnut.

    把空間想像成這個甜甜圈的形狀

  • You might think that it would be very different

    你也許認為這個空間與

  • From a region of space shaped like this coffee cup.

    形狀如咖啡杯的空間完全不同

  • But there's a precise sense

    但事實恰巧是

  • In which the shape of the doughnut

    甜甜圈形狀的

  • And the coffee cup are actually the same,

    和咖啡杯形狀的實質上是一樣的

  • Just a little disguised.

    只是有些隱晦

  • You see,they both have one hole.

    瞧 他們都有個洞

  • In the doughnut it's in the middle

    甜甜圈的洞在中間

  • And in the coffee cup it's in the handle.

    咖啡杯的洞在手柄上

  • That means we can change the doughnut

    這就意味著可以把甜甜圈

  • Into the shape of a coffee cup and back again

    變成咖啡杯 再變回來

  • Without having to rip or tear the dough at all.

    而不需要撕裂或扯開甜甜圈

  • Okay,but suppose you want to change the shape

    但如果想把甜甜圈

  • Of this doughnut into a very different shape,

    變成完全不同的形狀

  • A shape with no holes.

    比如沒有洞的形狀

  • The only way to do that is to tear the doughnut like this

    唯一的方法是像這樣撕扯開甜甜圈

  • And then re-shape it.

    再改變其形狀

  • Unfortunately,according to Einstein's laws,

    遺憾的是 根據愛因斯坦的理論

  • This is impossible.

    這是不可能的

  • They say that space can stretch and warp,

    愛因斯坦的理論認為空間可以拉伸和彎曲

  • But it cannot rip.

    但不能撕裂

  • Wormholes might exist somewhere fully formed,

    蟲洞也許現成的就在某個地方

  • But you could not rip space to create a new one,

    但你不能在曼哈頓或別處

  • Over manhattan or anywhere else.

    撕開空間 製造出一個蟲洞

  • In other words,I can't take a wormhole to work.

    換句話說 我無法穿過蟲洞去工作

  • But now string theory is giving us

    不過現在弦理論提供了

  • A whole new perspective on space,

    一個嶄新的視角來看待空間

  • And it's showing us that Einstein wasn't always right.

    也證明了愛因斯坦不總是對的

  • To see how,

    為了一探究竟

  • Let's take a much closer look at the spatial fabric.

    讓我們近距離觀察空間結構

  • If we could shrink down

    我們如果能

  • To about a millionth of a billionth of our normal size,

    縮小千萬億倍

  • We'd enter the world of quantum mechanics,

    進入統治原子運轉的

  • The laws that control how atoms behave.

    量子力學世界

  • It's the world of light and electricity and everything else

    這是個光 電和所有一切都在

  • That operates at the smallest of scales.

    最小級別運作的世界

  • Here,the fabric of space is random and chaotic.

    這裡 空間的結構是隨機無序的

  • Rips and tears might be commonplace.

    撕裂和扯開就不足為奇了

  • But if they were,

    但如果是這樣的話

  • What would stop a rip in the fabric of space

    又是什麼阻止了空間結構的撕裂

  • From creating a cosmic catastrophe?

    避免了宇宙大災難

  • Well,this is where the power of strings comes in.

    這就得說起弦的力量

  • Strings calm the chaos.

    弦避免了混亂

  • And as a single string dances through space,

    一個弦在空間運動時

  • It sweeps out a tube.

    軌跡是管狀的

  • The tube can act like a bubble that surrounds the tear,

    這些管狀物像氣泡一樣環繞在破裂處周圍

  • A protective shield with profound implications.

    形成重要的保護層

  • Strings actually make it possible for space to rip.

    弦的存在使得空間裂開成為可能

  • Which means that space is far more dynamic

    這就意味著空間比愛因斯坦所想的

  • And changeable than even Albert Einstein thought.

    要更加充滿活力和難以琢磨

  • So does that mean that wormholes are possible?

    這是不是說蟲洞是可能存在的

  • Will I ever be able to take a stroll on Everest,

    我能不能在珠穆朗瑪峰漫步

  • Grab a baguette in Paris

    到巴黎拿條法棍麵包

  • And still make it back to new york in time

    仍然能及時趕回紐約

  • For my morning meeting?

    開晨會呢

  • It would be kind of cool,

    那該有多酷

  • Though it's still a very distant possibility.

    但這種可能仍遙不可及

  • But one thing that is certain

    但可以肯定的是

  • Is that string theory is already showing us

    弦理論已經告訴我們

  • That the universe may be a lot stranger

    宇宙也許比我們想像的

  • Than any of us ever imagined.

    更加神秘莫測

  • For example,string theory says we're surrounded

    例如 弦理論指出我們周圍充斥著

  • By hidden dimensions,

    不可見的維度

  • Mysterious places beyond the familiar

    那些神秘的地方超出了

  • Three-dimensional space we know.

    我們所熟悉的三維空間

  • People who've said that

    認為空間存在著

  • There were extra dimensions of space,

    另外維度的人

  • Have been labeled as,you know,crackpots

    曾被冠名空想家

  • Or people who are bananas.

    或瘋子

  • I mean,what,do you think there are extra dimensions?

    我說 開玩笑 你竟然認為有另外的維度

  • Well,string theory really predicts it.

    然而 弦理論的確預測了它們的存在

  • What we think of as our universe

    我們想 我們的宇宙

  • Could just be one small part of something much bigger.

    可能只是更大的東西的一小部分

  • Perhaps we live on a membrane,

    也許我們生活在一個膜上

  • A three-dimensional membrane

    一個在更高維度的空間裡

  • That floats inside higher dimensional space.

    漂浮的三維膜上

  • There could be entire worlds right next to us,

    也許在我們週遭 有很多完整的世界

  • But completely invisible.

    但完全不可見

  • These other worlds would,in a very literal sense,

    從很淺層的理解上來說 這些其他的世界

  • Be,be parallel universes.

    可能是相互平行的

  • This isn't a particularly exotic or,or strange notion.

    這不是什麼天方夜譚的想法

  • No wonder physics students are lining up

    難怪學物理的學生都蜂擁而至

  • To explore the strange world of string theory.

    來探索弦理論的奇妙世界

  • String theory is very active.

    弦理論研究很活躍

  • Things are happening. there are a lot of people doing it.

    不斷有進展 有很多人致力於此

  • Most of the young kids,given the choice,

    大部分是年輕人 讓他們選擇

  • At a ratio of something like ten to one,

    十之八九的人

  • They will go into string theory.

    都會選擇弦理論

  • But strings weren't always this popular.

    但弦不總是這麼受到追捧

  • The pioneers of string theory struggled for years,

    弦理論的先驅們掙扎了很多年

  • Working alone on an idea that nobody else believed in.

    獨自置身於沒人相信的理論研究

  • Here is generalized, For decades,

    總體上 數十年來

  • Physicists believed that the tiniest bits inside an atom

    物理學家認為原子內最小的基本粒子

  • Were point particles.

    是點粒子

  • Flying around the outside were the electrons,

    圍繞原子核旋轉的是電子

  • And inside were protons and neutrons

    原子核內部的是質子和中子

  • Which were made up of quarks.

    是由夸克組成的

  • But string theory says that what we thought

    但弦理論認為

  • Were indivisible particles are actually tiny,

    我們以為不可見的粒子

  • Vibrating strings.

    實際上是振動的弦

  • It's nothing really mystical. it's a really tiny string.

    沒什麼神秘的 只是很小的弦

  • It either closes in to its little circle or it has end points

    要麼是閉弦 要麼是開弦

  • But it's just a little string.

    總之都是很小的弦

  • In the 1980s,the idea caught on,

    到了20世紀80年代 這理論變得流行起來

  • And people started jumping on the string bandwagon.

    人們爭先恐後加入到弦的研究中來

  • Well,the fact that

    事實上

  • Suddenly all these other people were working in the field

    忽然很多人投入到一個領域的研究中

  • Had its advantages and its disadvantages.

    有利有弊

  • It was wonderful to see

    因為很多人的投入

  • How rapidly the subject could develop now,

    使得這一學科得以快速發展

  • Because so many people were working on it.

    是件非常美妙的事

  • One of the great attractions of strings is their versatility.

    弦的吸引人之處在於它的多樣性

  • Just as the strings on a cello can vibrate

    正如大提琴上的琴弦

  • At different frequencies,

    以不同頻率振動

  • Making all the individual musical notes,

    產生不同的音符

  • In the same way,

    同理

  • The tiny strings of string theory

    弦理論中的微小的弦

  • Vibrate and dance in different patterns,

    以不同模式振動和舞蹈

  • Creating all the fundamental particles of nature.

    產生了自然界的最基本的粒子

  • If this view is right,then put them all together

    如果這一觀點沒錯 那麼把這些弦放在一起

  • And we get the grand and beautiful symphony

    就奏出一曲宏大美妙的交響樂

  • That is our universe.

    這就是我們的宇宙

  • What's really exciting about this

    真正令人興奮的是

  • Is that it offers an amazing possibility.

    它提供了一種極為神奇的可能性

  • If we could only master the rhythms of strings,

    如果我們能掌握弦的韻律

  • Then we'd stand a good chance of explaining all the matter

    那我們就極有可能能解釋自然界

  • And all the forces of nature,

    從最小的亞原子粒子

  • From the tiniest subatomic particles

    到外太空星系的

  • To the galaxies of outer space.

    所有物質和作用力

  • This is the potential of string theory,

    這就是弦理論的潛力

  • To be a unified "theory of everything."

    成為統一的"萬物至理"

  • But,at first sight,in our enthusiasm for this idea,

    但乍一看來 我們對這種理念的熱情

  • We seem to have gone too far.

    似乎有點過了

  • Because we didn't produce just one string theory,

    因為我們不僅提出了一種弦理論

  • Or even two

    或是兩種

  • We somehow managed to come up with five.

    我們提出了五種理論

  • Five different string theories,

    五種不同的弦理論

  • Each competing for the title of the theory of everything.

    都在競爭著萬物至理的頭銜

  • And if there's going to be a

    如果存在一個

  • "the fundamental theory of nature,"

    "自然界的基本理論"

  • There ought to be one of them.

    應該是其中的一種

  • I suppose a number of string theorists thought,

    我想很多弦理論家在想

  • "ah,that's fantastic. that's wonderful."

    "太棒了 太好了"

  • And maybe one of these will end up being the right theory

    也許其中一個最終成為正確的理論

  • Of the world." and yet,

    然而

  • There must have been a little nagging voice

    在腦海中會有一個聲音

  • At the back of the head that said,

    不斷地問

  • "well,why are there five?"

    為什麼是五個呢

  • With five competing players,

    有五個相互競爭者

  • The stage of string theory was looking a little crowded.

    弦理論的舞台顯得有些擁擠

  • The five theories had many things in common.

    這五種理論有許多共同點

  • For example,they all involved vibrating strings,

    例如 他們都與振動的弦有關

  • But their mathematical details appeared

    但他們在數學上的詳細表達

  • To be quite different.

    卻完全不同

  • Frankly,it was embarrassing.

    坦率的說 這有些讓人費解

  • How could this unified theory of everything

    這種適用於一切事物的理論

  • Come in five different flavors?

    怎麼會有五種不同版本

  • This was a case where more was definitely less.

    這真是多一事不如少一事

  • But then something remarkable happened.

    然而 奇跡出現了

  • This is Ed Witten.

    這位是愛德·威滕

  • He's widely regarded as one of

    他被認為是現在