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(2011-09-28 23:27:04)



分类: 英汉对照读物


Isaac Newton 艾萨克·牛顿


(2)       Fruitful Months on Mother’ Farm




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England was suffering from an epidemic of the bubonic plague, which had wiped out about one-tenth of the population. (1) Cambridge was shut down and the students dispersed to their homes. 英国正腺鼠疫流行,这场鼠疫夺走了全国十分之一的人。剑桥大学关门停课,学生们各自东西回家了。


Newton went back to his mother to the small farmhouse of his birth and spent most of his time there until the university reopened about a year and a half later. 牛顿回到母亲身边,回到自己出生的那个小农舍,在大学大约一年半后复课前,他大部分时间都在那儿度过。


  The eighteen months Newton spent at his mother’s farm were probably the most fruitful in science history. Newton devised the basic laws of mechanics and applied them to heavenly bodies, (2) he discovered the fundamental law of gravitation, he invented the methods of differential and integral calculus, and he laid the foundation for his great optical discoveries. 牛顿在母亲农场度过的18个月,在科学史上大概最富有成果。牛顿构思出力学基本定律,并将其用来解释天体,他发现了非常重要的引力定律、他发明了微分学和积分学方法论、他为自己的重大光学发现打下了基础。


  Newton was to spend the rest of his scientific life explaining, expanding, and applying these discoveries, but the creation took place in those eighteen months during his twenty-third and twenty-fourth years. 牛顿将把自己的余下的科学生活,用来解释、扩展和应用这些发现,但是,在他2324岁的这18个月中,创造性的成果出现了。


  Newton did not make his wonderful discoveries known to the world. (3) This secretiveness was to involve Newton in controversy and argument throughout his entire career. 牛顿没有向世人公布他的奇妙发现。这个守口如瓶的态度,使牛顿在他的整个生涯中,被卷入了争论的旋涡。


  Newton returned to a minor teaching position at Cambridge when it reopened in 1667. Newton advanced rapidly and, when he was twenty-six, became a professor of mathematics, succeeding his own teacher and sponsor Isaac Barrow. 1667年,剑桥大学开学,牛顿返校担任少量的教学工作。牛顿进步很快,26岁时成了数学教授,接任他的导师和担保人艾萨克· 巴罗。


  Newton had been doing a considerable amount of experimental work in the study of light. He was annoyed by the fact that his telescopes, like all others of the time, gave images that were fringed with color and were therefore indistinct. 牛顿在研究光方面,已经作了大量的实验工作。他为以下事实感到烦恼:他的望远镜,和那时的所有的其他望远镜一样,看到的图像的边缘有颜色,因此不清楚。


  In an attempt to solve this problem Newton made a detailed study of light, using a triangular glass prism for the purpose. The basic experiment consisted of shining a beam of sunlight on the prism. He worked in a darkened room and obtained the beam through a hole in the shutter. 为了解决这个问题,牛顿对光进行仔细的研究,使用三角形玻璃棱镜,以达到这个目的。基本实验包含将一束太阳光照到棱镜上。他在黑暗屋子里做实验,从百叶窗的一个小孔处得到了光束。


  Newton noted that the white light was spread out in a rainbow strip, which he called a spectrum. The colors were in the following order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. 牛顿注意到,白光以彩色条状散开,他把这叫做光谱。这些颜色按下列顺序排列:红、橙、黄、绿、蓝、靛、紫。


  Newton blocked off all the other colors but one, for instance violet. The violet beam was allowed to pass through another prism. Newton observed that the violet was bent but did not change color, that violet remained violet. (4) 牛顿遮住所有其他颜色,只留一个颜色,比如紫色。让紫色光穿过另一个棱镜。牛顿观察到:紫色光发生折射,但是颜色没有改变,那个紫色仍然是紫颜色。


  Newton repeated the experiment with each color. The colors did not further split as white light had done. He noticed, however, that each color was bent a different amount as it passed through the second prism. 牛顿使用每种颜色,重复做这个实验。颜色不再分裂,而白光是分裂了的。然而,他注意到,每种光穿过第二个棱镜时,发生不同程度的折射。


  Newton came to a simple but startling conclusion: the white light of the sun was in fact a mixture of all the colors of the spectrum! The glass of the prism bent each color a different amount and so separated them. 牛顿得出了一个简单却令人震惊的结论:太阳的白光事实上是光谱中所有颜色的混合体!棱镜的玻璃使每种颜色发生不同程度的折射,于是将它们分开。


  From these experiments Newton concluded that it was not possible to construct a lens without color fringes. 牛顿从这些实验得出结论:可能做出不产生色晕的镜头。



1.       …which had wiped out about one-tenth of the population.

句子中的one-tenth是分数词,由基数词和序数词合成。基数词代表分子,序数词代表分母。 除了分子是1外,序数词都要用复数,谓语动词也要用复数形式。比如: Two-fifths of the machines on display were produced by this factory. (展出的机器五分之二都是这家工厂生产的。)

2.       …Newton devised the basic laws of mechanics and applied them to heavenly bodies…

句子中的heavenly尽管带有常用的副词后缀ly,但它不是副词,而是形容词。再比如:a friendly visit (友好访问), motherly love (母爱), a deadly blow (致命的一击)

3.       Newton did not make his wonderful discoveries known to the world.

句子中的宾语是复合宾语,由宾语discoveries和宾语补足语known组成, 即: 复合宾语 = 宾语(名词)+ 宾语补足语(过去分词)。再比如:We had the photograph taken in front of the building. (我们在楼房前照的这张照片。) 注意,宾语补足语也可以是不定式、现在分词、名词或形容词。比如:What makes her think so? (什么使她这样想呢? 不定式作宾语补足语) / I found my sister singing in the room. (我发现妹妹在屋子里唱歌。 现在分词作宾语补足语) / You should keep it a secret. (你应该保守秘密。 名词作宾语补足语) / They shouted themselves hoarse. (他们把嗓子都喊哑了。 形容词作宾语补足语)

4.       …violet remained violet.





1.       According to the passage how many people in England died of the bubonic plague?

A.      One-tenth of the population.

B.      Too many to be accounted.

C.      Just a few.

D.     No one knows.

2.       We know from the passage that _____________.

A.      Newton spent seventeen months at his mother’s farm

B.      Cambridge remained closed for one and half a year for the plague 

C.      Newton’ mother lived in a big farmhouse

D.     Newton refused to turn back to his mother though Cambridge was closed.

3.       All of the following statements are true except that ______________.

A.      Newton made a detailed study of light in order to solve the color fringe

B.      Newton got the sunlight beam through a hole in the shutter

C.      Newton concluded the white light was a mixture of all the colors of the spectrum

D.     The colors of the spectrum include red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, violet 

4.       The underlined word “split” as it is used in the passage means ______.

A.      divide

B.      tear

C.      spit

D.     cut open



1. A    2. B    3. D    4. A


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