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英语四级翻译:那些复杂到让你困惑的简单小事(6)

发布时间:2016-04-11 来源:新东方在线 发布人:zolo

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英语四级翻译:那些复杂到让你困惑的简单小事(6)

6.How Long Is A Piece Of String? It's Impossible To Know

一根绳子有多长?这是根本不可能知道的。

If someone was to give you a piece of string and ask you how long it was, you'd assume that answering them would be a fairly simple, if rather odd task. But how would you answer that person if they wanted to know exactly how long that piece of string was? That was something comedian Alan Davies wanted to ascertain for a BBC TV special aptly called How Long is a Piece of String? by posing the deceptively simple question to a group of scientists.

如果有人给你一根绳子,然后问你绳子有多长,你肯定会认为回答他们真是太简单了,尽管这个任务有些奇怪。但是如果这个人想要知道绳子的精确长度,你会怎么回答呢?这是在BBC一档特别电视节目中,喜剧演员艾伦?戴维斯想要弄清楚的问题,这档电视节目的名字很贴切,叫《一根绳子有多长》(How Long is a Piece of String?)。节目中,他把这个看似很简单的问题抛给了一组科学家。

The answer was, rather ironically, "it depends," because the exact definition of how long something is depends on who you ask. Mathematicians told the comedian that a piece of string could theoretically be of infinite length, while physicists told him that due to the nature of subatomic physics and the fact that atoms can technically be in two places at once, measuring the string precisely is impossible.

相当滑稽地是,答案居然是"要视情况而定,"因为某样东西长度的准确定义也要根据被提问者而定。数学家们告诉这位喜剧演员,从理论上来说,一根绳子的长度可能是无限的。而物理学家们却告诉他说,基于亚原子物理学的本质和这样一个事实-从技术上讲,原子可以同时出现在两个地方,想要精确测量绳子的长度是不可能的。

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