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世界最伟大的科学家----艾萨克.牛顿

(2008-10-10 10:45:50)
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牛顿

科学家

最伟大

万有引力

文化

分类: 旅游探险

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艾萨克.牛顿:世界上最伟大的科学家之一

今天,我们向你介绍世界上最伟大的科学家之一----艾萨克.牛顿。

我们今天的许多物理学原理就是基于牛顿所发现的三大运动定律和万有引力定律发展而来的,牛顿还发现了一种最为有用的数学方法,这种数学方法就是微积分。在他生命的晚期,牛顿曾经这样说他的成就:“如果说我比别人看的更远一些,那是因为我是站在巨人的肩膀上。”

在这些巨人中,一位是意大利伟大的科学家伽利略,伽利略去逝的那一年正是牛顿出生的那年。另一位巨人是波兰的科学家尼古拉斯.哥白尼,他比牛顿早一百多年。哥白尼开创了科学革命,他为世人认识宇宙是如何运行的开创了全新的视野。伽利略继续并发展了哥白尼的科学研究。艾萨克.牛顿则在吸收这两位科学家思想的基础上创建了自己的学说,他发现并证明了他们所寻求的答案。

艾萨克.牛顿于1642年12月25日出生在伦敦的沃尔索蒲镇,他是一个早产儿,他出生时很小,而且很虚弱,没有人指望他会活下来,但他让每个人都感到了吃惊,他成为人类思想史上最有权威的人之一,而且他的寿命高达八十四岁。牛顿的父亲在他出生前就死了,他的母亲在几年后也改嫁了,把他留给了他的祖母。牛顿并不是一个好学生,然而,他喜欢动手做事,如做一些风筝、时钟和一些简单的机械等。

牛顿还喜欢寻找新的方法来回答问题或解决困难。例如,作为一个小孩,他决定寻找一种能够测定风速的方法。在一个有风的天气里,他测量在他顺风时他能够跳得多远,然后,他又测量在他逆风的时候他能够跳得多远,根据这两次跳的不同距离,他用自己的方法测量出风的力量。让人感到奇怪的是,牛顿在一次被一个男孩踢中胃部后变成了一名非常优秀的学生,这个男孩是学校里学习最好的一个。牛顿决定以更高的分数来超过这个踢过他的学生,在很短的时间内,牛顿就成为了学校最优秀的学生。

牛顿为了帮助家里,离开学校回到了家庭农场。然而,不久,大家都发现他不是一个合格的农民。他把时间都用在了解决数学问题,而不是去照应庄稼。当他在集市上卖菜时,他没有好好地卖菜,而是在镇上的一家书店里一呆就是几个小时。他的一位叔叔认为,牛顿与其做一个农民还不如回到学校做一个好学生,所以,他帮助牛顿进入剑桥大学学习数学。五年后,即1665年,牛顿完成了他的学业,那年,他22岁。

当时,一场严重的瘟疫席卷整个英国,为了逃避瘟疫,牛顿回到了家庭农场。他在农场,他思考的比他干的要多的多,正因为如此,他找到了一些最伟大的科学神秘现象的答案。牛顿利用他那卓越的数学能力,为人们更好地理解世界和宇宙创造了条件。他用他小的时候自己动手做各种东西所学会的方法不断地做试验,然后他再研究试验的结果,并用他所掌握的知识进行新的试验。牛顿的这种试验使他创建了一种测量弯曲物体面积的新的数学方法。他还通过试验方法来探寻一个固体里都包含哪些物质。他所创造的这种方法就是著名的积分。

有一天,牛顿坐在花园里,他看到了一个苹果从树上掉了下来。他开始想,让苹果下落的力量是否同样也是让月球环绕地球运转的力量呢。牛顿认为是的,而且他还认为这种力量是可以测量的,他把这种力量叫“地心引力”(万有引力)。他开始仔细地测算。他认为,让一颗行星在其轨道上环绕太阳运转的力量源于两种东西,一是行星和太阳的质量,二是他们之间的距离。

牛顿能够精确发现距离与地心引力之间的关系,他用一个物体的质量与另一个空间物体的质量相乘,然后再除以他们之间的距离的平方,其结果就是联系他们之间的万有引力的力量。牛顿要通过测量月球按轨道围绕地球运转需要多大的力量,来证明他的理论,于是,他测量月球和地球的质量,以及他们之间的距离。他发现,他的万有引力测量法所测量出力量和所需要的力量不相等,但这个数字很接近,对此,牛顿没有告诉任何人,他把它扔到一边,继续研究别的想法。后来,用正确的测量方法测量地球的大小,他发现这些数据(与他原先所测量的)完全相等。

牛顿还研究光和颜色。他用一个三棱镜来观察光和颜色。他让一束太阳光通过这个三棱镜,折射到一个白色的表面上,这三棱镜把光事分成了彩虹的颜色。牛顿认为所有这些颜色----在光线里混合在了一起----就产生了白色。为了证明这一点,他让一束彩虹----即有色光线通过另一个三棱镜,结果这些有色的光又变回到了白光。

牛顿对光的研究使他了解了,为什么通过一个望远镜所看一个遥远的物体,却看不清其形状。望远镜底端的弯曲玻璃镜工作起来就像是一个棱镜,它会在一个物体的周围产生一个彩色的光圈,这就使望远镜看到的图像不清晰。几年后,牛顿制造了另一种望远镜,这种望远镜采用弯曲的镜子,从而使远处的物体看起来更大,光从这个弯曲的镜子表面反射回来,而不是通过弯曲的镜透过来。牛顿的反射望远镜所看到的物体比以前老式的望远镜所看到的都更加清晰。

许多年后,英国天文学家爱德蒙德.哈雷拜访牛顿,他说他希望牛顿帮助他解决一个此前一直没有人能够解决的问题,这个问题就是:一颗行星是按什么轨道环绕太阳运转的?牛顿立即就把答案告诉给哈雷:像鸡蛋形的轨道,这种轨道叫椭圆形轨道。哈雷感到非常惊奇,他要求牛顿拿出证据。牛顿以前的工作成果没有论文,然而,他能够把这些写出来,他还向哈雷展示了他其他所有的科学研究。

哈雷说,牛顿的科学发现是迄今以来最伟大的发现,他劝牛顿把他所发现的成果让世界一同分享。牛顿开始写书来阐述他所做的一切,这本书于1687年出版,牛顿将这部书叫《The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy》(《自然哲学的数学原理》),这部书被认为是最伟大的科学著作。

在这部著作中,牛顿阐述了三大运动定律。牛顿的第一运动定律是:一切物体在不受任何外力的作用下,总保持匀速直线运动状态或静止状态,直到有外力迫使它改变这种状态为止。只要空中没有什么东西阻止它的话,空中的物体便会一直在移动。牛顿的第二运动定律描述的是力量,这个定律表明:一个物体受到的合力等于它的质量乘以加速度。牛顿的第三运动定律是:对于任何一个作用力而言,其反作用力都是相等的,方向是相反的。

根据这三大运动定律,牛顿就能够向世人展示宇宙是如何运行的,他利用简单明了的数学方法轻松地证明了这一点。世界上所有的科学家都接受牛顿的理论。牛顿时代英国顶级的诗人亚历山大.蒲柏这样赞誉这位伟大的科学家:“自然与自然法则都隐没在黑夜里,上帝说,‘就让牛顿去吧!’万物随成光明。”

简评:

面对如此伟大的科学家,我不敢做任何的简评!

也许英国著名诗人对牛顿所做的赞誉:“自然与自然法则都隐没在黑夜里,上帝说,‘就让牛顿去吧!’万物随成光明”能够胜过一切。

而就是这样一位给世界带来光明的伟大科学家,自己却是这样评价自己的:

I don't know what I may seem to the world, but, as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.  (我不知道在别人看来,我是什么样的人;但在我自己看来,我不过就象是一个在海滨玩耍的小孩,为不时发现比寻常更为光滑的一块卵石或比寻常更为美丽的一片贝壳而沾沾自喜,而对于展现在我面前的浩瀚的真理的海洋,却全然没有发现。)

对此,我更是无话可说!

 

Isaac Newton: One of the World’s Greatest Scientists 

 

Today we tell about one of the world's greatest scientists, Isaac Newton.


世界最伟大的科学家----艾萨克.牛顿

Isaac Newton

Much of today's science of physics is based on Newton's discovery of the three laws of motion and his theory of gravity. Newton also developed one of the most powerful tools of mathematics. It is the method we call calculus. Late in his life, Newton said of his work: "If I saw further than other men, it was because I stood on the shoulders of giants. "   

One of those giants was the great Italian scientist, Galileo. Galileo died the same year Newton was born. Another of the giants was the Polish scientist Nicholas Copernicus. He lived a hundred years before Newton. Copernicus had begun a scientific revolution. It led to a completely new understanding of how the universe worked. Galileo continued and expanded the work of Copernicus. Isaac Newton built on the ideas of these two scientists and others. He found and proved the answers for which they searched.

Isaac Newton was born in Woolsthorpe, England, on December twenty-fifth, sixteen forty-two. He was born early. He was a small baby and very weak. No one expected him to survive. But he surprised everyone. He had one of the most powerful minds in history. And he lived until he was eighty-four. Newton's father died before he was born. His mother married again a few years later. She left Isaac with his grandmother. The boy was not a good student. Yet he liked to make things, such as kites and clocks and simple machines.

Newton also enjoyed finding new ways to answer questions or solve problems. As a boy, for example, he decided to find a way to measure the speed of the wind. On a windy day, he measured how far he could jump with the wind at his back. Then he measured how far he could jump with the wind in his face. From the difference between the two jumps, he made his own measure of the strength of the wind. Strangely, Newton became a much better student after a boy kicked him in the stomach. The boy was one of the best students in the school. Newton decided to get even by getting higher marks than the boy who kicked him. In a short time, Newton became the top student at the school.

Newton left school to help on the family farm. It soon became clear, however, that the boy was not a good farmer. He spent his time solving mathematical problems, instead of taking care of the crops. He spent hours visiting a bookstore in town, instead of selling his vegetables in the market. An uncle decided that Newton would do better as a student than as a farmer. So he helped the young man enter Cambridge University to study mathematics. Newton completed his university studies five years later, in sixteen sixty-five. He was twenty-two years old.

At that time, a deadly plague was spreading across England. To escape the disease, Newton returned to the family farm. He did more thinking than farming. In doing so, he found the answers to some of the greatest mysteries of science. Newton used his great skill in mathematics to form a better understanding of the world and the universe. He used methods he had learned as a boy in making things. He experimented. Then he studied the results and used what he had learned to design new experiments. Newton's work led him to create a new method in mathematics for measuring areas curved in shape. He also used it to find how much material was contained in solid objects. The method he created became known as integral calculus.

One day, sitting in the garden, Newton watched an apple fall from a tree. He began to wonder if the same force that pulled the apple down also kept the moon circling the Earth. Newton believed it was. And he believed it could be measured. He called the force "gravity. " He began to examine it carefully. He decided that the strength of the force keeping a planet in orbit around the sun depended on two things. One was the amount of mass in the planet and the sun. The other was how far apart they were.

Newton was able to find the exact relationship between distance and gravity. He multiplied the mass of one space object by the mass of the other. Then he divided that number by the square of their distance apart. The result was the strength of the gravity force that tied them to each other. Newton proved his idea by measuring how much gravity force would be needed to keep the moon orbiting the Earth. Then he measured the mass of the Earth and the moon, and the distance between them. He found that his measurement of the gravity force produced was not the same as the force needed. But the numbers were close. Newton did not tell anyone about his discovery. He put it aside to work on other ideas. Later, with correct measurements of the size of the Earth, he found that the numbers were exactly the same.

Newton spent time studying light and colors. He used a three-sided piece of glass called a prism. He sent a beam of sunlight through the prism. It fell on a white surface. The prism separated the beam of sunlight into the colors of a rainbow. Newton believed that all these colors -- mixed together in light -- produced the color white. He proved this by letting the beam of rainbow-colored light pass through another prism. This changed the colored light back to white light.


世界最伟大的科学家----艾萨克.牛顿

Newton's telescope used a mirror instead of a lens

Newton's study of light led him to learn why faraway objects seen through a telescope do not seem sharp and clear. The curved glass lenses at each end of the telescope acted like prisms. They produced a circle of colored light around an object. This created an unclear picture. A few years later, Newton built a different kind of telescope. It used a curved mirror to make faraway objects seem larger. Light reflected from the surface of the mirror, instead of passing through a curved glass lens. Newton's reflecting telescope produced much clearer pictures than the old kind of telescope.

Years later, the British astronomer Edmund Halley visited Newton. He said he wanted Newton's help in finding an answer to a problem no one had been able to solve. The question was this: What is the path of a planet going around the sun?  Newton immediately gave Haley the answer: an egg-shaped path called an ellipse. Halley was surprised. He asked for Newton's proof. Newton no longer had the papers from his earlier work. He was able to recreate them, however. He showed them to Halley. He also showed Halley all his other scientific work.

Halley said Newton's scientific discoveries were the greatest ever made. He urged Newton to share them with the world. Newton began to write a book that explained what he had done. It was published in sixteen eighty-seven. Newton called his book "The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy." The book is considered the greatest scientific work ever written.

In his book, Newton explains the three natural laws of motion. The first law is that an object not moving remains still. And one that is moving continues to move at an unchanging speed, so long as no outside force influences it. Objects in space continue to move, because nothing exists in space to stop them. Newton's second law of motion describes force. It says force equals the mass of an object, multiplied by the change in speed it produces in an object. His third law says that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

From these three laws, Newton was able to show how the universe worked. He proved it with easily understood mathematics. Scientists everywhere accepted Newton's ideas. The leading English poet of Newton's time, Alexander Pope, honored the scientist with these words: "Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night. God said, --'Let Newton be!' - and all was light. "

http://www.wwenglish.com/m07/voa/spec/2008/10/wwenglish.com_exp081001.mp3

 

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