2011年10月20日 星期四

劃時代

今年的諾貝爾物理獎頒給發現宇宙正在加速膨脹的三位物理學家,因為膨脹地比原本預期的快,讓科學家相信宇宙最終將走向冷卻一途,至於加速膨脹源自 dark energy,他構成了3/4的宇宙,我們迄今對他幾乎一無所知。

有什麼科學發現,在尺度或影響上比這個更"Universal"更"超時空"嗎?這可是告訴我們宇宙命運的線索啊。

我常不太懂為什麼還有人不斷的說這個年代缺乏"劃時代"的科學發現?

如果試著給一個解釋,那或許是因為當科學進步得愈深遠、愈快速,對自然知道的愈多,人類就顯得愈無知吧。

下午要去聽其中一位得主(Adam Riess)的演講,當然 Colloquium 人選都是在開學前老早就決定的,能被請來給全系作這種演講的都是做的極好的傢伙,但忽然發現受邀者其中之一得到剛出爐的諾貝爾獎, 還是有中了統一發票般的驚喜,至少是錦上添花的。

以下是今年的諾貝爾物理獎的press release

Written in the stars

"Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice..." *
What will be the final destiny of the Universe? Probably it will end in ice, if we are to believe this year's Nobel Laureates in Physics. They have studied several dozen exploding stars, called supernovae, and discovered that the Universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate. The discovery came as a complete surprise even to the Laureates themselves.

In 1998, cosmology was shaken at its foundations as two research teams presented their findings. Headed by Saul Perlmutter, one of the teams had set to work in 1988. Brian Schmidt headed another team, launched at the end of 1994, where Adam Riess was to play a crucial role.

The research teams raced to map the Universe by locating the most distant supernovae. More sophisticated telescopes on the ground and in space, as well as more powerful computers and new digital imaging sensors (CCD, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009), opened the possibility in the 1990s to add more pieces to the cosmological puzzle.

The teams used a particular kind of supernova, called type Ia supernova. It is an explosion of an old compact star that is as heavy as the Sun but as small as the Earth. A single such supernova can emit as much light as a whole galaxy. All in all, the two research teams found over 50 distant supernovae whose light was weaker than expected - this was a sign that the expansion of the Universe was accelerating. The potential pitfalls had been numerous, and the scientists found reassurance in the fact that both groups had reached the same astonishing conclusion.

For almost a century, the Universe has been known to be expanding as a consequence of the Big Bang about 14 billion years ago. However, the discovery that this expansion is accelerating is astounding. If the expansion will continue to speed up the Universe will end in ice.

The acceleration is thought to be driven by dark energy, but what that dark energy is remains an enigma - perhaps the greatest in physics today. What is known is that dark energy constitutes about three quarters of the Universe. Therefore the findings of the 2011 Nobel Laureates in Physics have helped to unveil a Universe that to a large extent is unknown to science. And everything is possible again.

10 則留言:

WF 提到...

當年牛頓力學、微積分、地動說等理論出世的時候,當時的人也未必認為那是劃時代的東西。同理,當下的文明進展,對未來的世界而言或許也是劃時代……

becco 提到...

WF,

你說的沒錯,很多評論往往只是無關人類知識進展的後見之明。

還有一點,當人類的知識愈豐富多樣,對自然了解愈深入,事實上就愈難用大眾,甚至非該專門領域的人所能理解的語言來解釋其內涵,但這和「重要性」是不能畫上等號的。

翻開今天的報章,一天到晚有人在夸夸其談愛因斯坦、相對論、量子力學與我們的社會的這個與那個關係,好像因為他們存在於普羅語言裡夠久了,就真的足以被了解似的。甚至於像許多不知哪來的專家們最愛談的演化論亦然,難怪我一位朋友愛說,達爾文是人類史上最倒楣最被誤解的科學家。

文文 提到...

最近在翻一系列的科普節目
剛好也翻到暗物質、暗能量跟一些弦論的東西
(幹這些真的是科普嗎?)
(即使雙縫實驗給我做一百遍我也不懂量子疊加啊)
我就覺得有的人能想出一般人看不到摸不到的東西
實在是很不可思議

becco 提到...

有一位大科學家說,科學家在做的事,就像是一隻猴子,要拿兩根棍子去構著更遠處樹梢上的果子,而那兩根棍子的長度加起來,甚至還比那距離短…所以能成功摘下,甚至只是搖晃那果子的機會都很小。

文文 提到...

對了,我想問你啊,那個 reality 在物理學究竟要怎麼翻?

最近翻的節目,很多都提到薛丁格的 pussy(一直要等到你進行觀察,所有的 probabilities 才會變成 reality)。我查了很多網路文章,有的翻實體、有的翻實在、有的翻現實、有的翻真實…

奇怪,我明明已經進行觀察了,卻還是沒出現 one definite reality XD

becco 提到...

你可以把上下文貼出來或寄給我嗎?

Reality在這裡就是指你最後測量的結果。就好你去買樂透,買的時後只知道中獎機率和獎額,但只有在開獎了之後才知道你中或沒中,中了多少,開獎(類比於測量這個動作)之後的世界及其結果就是這裡所謂的reality,也就是從probability(中獎率) 變成了reality (中了沒,中多少)。

不曉得這樣比方有沒有清楚一點?

文文 提到...

Erwin Schrodinger proved that subatomic particle could exist
in multiple places at the same time. And that more than one particle could occupy the same point in space at the same time. This subatomic world remains a blur of probabilities until the moment someone looks at it, when those probabilities gel into one definite reality.

彩券的解釋很清楚耶。現在我回頭看這段文字,就比較瞭解了,但是還是不知道 reality 的中文比較適合哪一個。

因為這個節目主要是在講平行宇宙(啊我真是想翻桌),所以這個 reality 就不斷出現,比方說:

Many scientists concluded that when you carry out a measurement, there are possible universes out there which collapse into one real universe. Actually, that is inconsistent with the mathematics of quantum mechanics. I believe that every possible outcome does in fact become reality each in its own parallel universe.

我想他們說的 reality 應該就是看得到、摸得到、或是可以理解的一個結果,感覺上實體或實在比較貼近這個意思,不知道你們比較常用哪一種說法?

becco 提到...

我也不確定怎麼翻比較好,但如果我用中文講下面這段

"until the moment someone looks at it, when those probabilities gel into one definite reality.

我會說「直到某人去"窺看(測量)"了他,讓所有的或然率落實為確切的測量結果那一刻為止」,我喜歡用「落實」是因為我們通常說"probability collapsed to something after measurement",他用gel into大概是因為科普,用比較口語的說法。

說到平行宇宙,你有看日劇「仁醫」嗎?

正在實驗室做measurement並且collapse 中的你朋友。

文文 提到...

collapse 這個字也常出現在節目內容裡
我查了一些科學文章的翻譯
似乎還是直接翻成「坍塌」
(但是哪裡塌了呢?)
reality 在不同的句子裡
似乎得翻成不同的中文
看起來才會通順
不過要一個一個討論
似乎也太不切實際
但我發現「結果」這個詞
放在很多句子裡反而很好理解


仁醫我有看過幾集
挺好看的,醫生很愛哭啊
花魁姊姊生病死掉的那一段
我看得直掉淚(但拖得有點久)
聽說第二部就很遜了…
不過我還沒時間看就是了

becco 提到...

所以我會寧可翻成"落實"而不是"坍塌",反正意思抓到比較重要,拘泥單獨的字義看來好像比較不自然。阿不然,取個中庸,collapse翻成"落石"好了…

我會講到仁醫是因為你說平行宇宙啦,第一部我覺得最感動的是星野達郎快掛之前和醫生的對話,非常非常動人,也是令我眼淚掉不停。

第二部其實也不能算糟,只是就有點鬆散,而且遇到的名人也太多了,簡直是江戶的韋小寶來著。不過,唉,那結尾真是令人不能自已。

我現在還一個人坍塌在實驗室,媽的