c的笔记本对《A Short History of Nearly Everything》的笔记(3)

A Short History of Nearly Everything
  • 书名: A Short History of Nearly Everything
  • 作者: Bill Bryson
  • 页数: 686
  • 出版社: Black Swan
  • 出版年: 2004-6-1
  • I: Lost in the Cosmos. 3 The Reverend Evans' Universe
    Only about six thousand stars are visible to the naked eye from earth, and only about two thousand can be seen from any one spot. With binoculars the number of stars you can see from a single location rises to about fifty thousand, and with a small 2-inch telescope it leaps to three hundred thousand. With a 16-inch telescope, such as Evans uses, you begin to count not in stars but in galaxies..
    2015-04-04 00:05:10 回应
  • III: A New Age Dawns. 11 Muster Mark's Quarks
    Carl Sagan in Cosmos raise the possibility that if you travelled downwards into an electron, you might find that it contained an universe of its own, recalling all those science-fiction stories of the 1950s. "Within it, organised into the local equivalent of galaxies and smaller structures, are an immense number of other, much tinier elementary particles, which are themselves universes at the next level and so on forever -- and infinite downward regression, universes within universes, endlessly. And upward as well.'
    the upshot of all this is that we live in an universe whose age we can't quite compute, surrounded by stars whose distances from us and each other we don't altogether know, filled with matter we can't identify, operating in conformance with physical laws whose properties we don't truly understand.
    And on that rather unsettling note, let's return to Planet Earth and consider something that we do understand -- though by now you perhaps won't be surprised to hear that we don't understand it completely and what we do understand we haven't understood for long.
    2015-04-04 00:03:58 回应
  • III: A New Age Dawns. 12 The Earth Moves
    For a start, his radical notions questioned the foundations of their discipline, seldom an effective way to generate warmth in an audience. `such a challenge would have been painful enough coming from a geologist, but Wegener had no background in geology. He was a meteorologist, for goodness' sake. A weatherman -- a German weatherman. These were not remediable deficiencies.
    And so geologists took every pain they could to dismiss his evidence and belittle his suggestions. To get around the problems of fossil distributions, they posited ancient 'land bridges' wherever they were needed. When an ancient horse named Hipparion was found to have lived in France and Florida at the same time, a land bridge was drawn across the Atlantic...Soon maps of prehistoric seas were almost solid with hypothesised land bridges.....
    When the crust reached the end of its journey at the boundary with continents, it plunged back into the Earth in a process known as subduction. That explained where all the sediment went. it was being returned to the bowels of the Earth. It also explained why ocean floors everywhere were so comparatively youthful. None had ever been found to be older then about 175 million years, which was a puzzle because continental rocks were often billions of years old. Now Hess could see why. Ocean rocks lasted only as long as it took them to travel to shore. It was a beautiful theory that explained a great deal. Hess elaborated his arguments in an important paper, which was almost universally ignored. Sometimes the world just isn't ready for a good idea.
    2015-04-04 02:36:09 回应