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星際旅行真的可以實現了?

  Recent reports from scientists pursuing a new kind of nuclear fusion technology are encouraging,but we are still some distance away from the"holy grail of clean energy".

  科學家們最近發表的關于新型核聚變技術的研究成果很鼓舞人心,但要獲得“清潔能源的圣杯”我們還需要繼續努力。

  The technology developed by Heinrich Hora and his colleagues at the University of NSW uses powerful lasers to fuse together hydrogen and boron atoms,releasing high-energy particles that can be used to generate electricity.

  這項技術是由新南威爾士大學的海因里希·霍拉和他的同事共同開發的,他們使用功率強大的激光把氫和硼原子融合在一起,以便釋放出可以用來發電的高能粒子。

  As with other kinds of nuclear fusion technology,however,the difficulty is in building a machine that can reliably initiate the reaction and harness the energy it produces.

  然而,與其他類型的核聚變技術一樣,該技術的難點在于如何制造一臺能夠有效啟動反應并利用其產生的能量的機器。

  What is fusion?

  什么是聚變?

  Fusion is the process that powers the Sun and the stars.It occurs when the nuclei of two atoms are forced so close to one another that they combine into one,releasing energy in the process.
紐約時報中英文網 www.738231.buzz


  聚變就是為太陽和恒星提供能量的過程。當兩個原子的原子核被迫緊靠在一起的時候,它們就會結合成一個原子并在這個過程中釋放能量。

  If the reaction can be tamed in the laboratory,it has the potential to deliver near-limitless baseload electricity with virtually zero carbon emissions.

  如果能在實驗室控制這種反應,它就有可能在幾乎零碳排放的情況下,提供近乎無限的基載電力。

  星際旅行要實現了?.jpg

  The experiments with hydrogen and boron have certainly produced fascinating physical results,but projections by Hora and colleagues of a five-year path to realising fusion power seem premature.Others have attempted laser-triggered fusion.The National Ignition Facility in the US,for example,has attempted to achieve hydrogen-deuterium fusion ignition using 192 laser beams focused on a small target. 紐約時報中英文網 http://www.738231.buzz

  氫和硼的實驗確實產生了極好的結果,但是霍拉和他的同事預期在5年里實現控制核聚變能量的想法似乎還為時過早。其他人也嘗試過用激光觸發核聚變。例如,美國國家點火裝置實驗室曾嘗試用192束激光照射一個小靶核來實現氫-氘聚變點火。

  These experiments reached one-third of the conditions needed for ignition for a single experiment.The challenges include precise placement of the target,non-uniformity of the laser beam,and instabilities that occur as the target implodes.

  這些實驗有三分之一達到了單次實驗所需的點火條件。其中面臨的挑戰有目標的精確定位、激光束的不均勻性以及目標內爆時的不穩定性。

  These experiments were conducted at most twice per day.By contrast,estimates suggest that a power plant would require the equivalent of 10 experiments per second.

  這些實驗每天最多能進行兩次。相比之下,據估計,一個發電廠可能需要每秒進行相當于這樣10次的實驗。

  That said,there is always room for smart innovation and new concepts,and it is wonderful to see all kinds of investment in fusion science.

  也就是說,總有巧妙創新和提出新概念的空間,而且我們很高興能看到在核聚變科學上進行的各種投資。
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