Fri, Aug 18, 2006 - Page 20 News List

The "magic" of light 光的「神奇」

A man sets up a telescope in the US state of Washington.美國華盛頓州一名男子正在架設單筒望遠鏡。 (照片:美聯社)

PHOTO: AP

Have you ever used a telescope? Most people think of telescopes only as something that you use to look at the stars in the sky, but if you have ever looked through a camera lens or used a pair of binoculars, you have used a telescope.

Telescopes have been around for a long time. We know for sure that people used them in the 1600's in Europe. Some people even think that people in other parts of the world were using telescopes thousands of years ago.

Telescopes make things that are far away look closer and brighter. It isn't magic. It's science. When light moves through different things, like air, a lens or water, it slows down or speeds up. At the place where this happens, to our eyes, it looks like the things we see are split in two.

You can see for yourself. Put a pencil in a glass or bowl of water. Make sure it's slanted, and then look to see how it looks like the pencil is split in two where the water meets the air.

Long ago, scientists learned that light does this, and figured out how to use this fact to build a telescope.(Kayleen Hartman, Staff Writer)

你用過單筒望遠鏡嗎?大多數的人認為單筒望遠鏡不過是用以觀察天際星群的工具而已,不過,假如你曾透過相機鏡頭看東西,或用過雙筒望遠鏡,你就是用過單筒望遠鏡。

單筒望遠鏡的歷史悠久。我們確定的是,十七世紀的歐洲人已使用望遠鏡。甚至有人認為早在數千年以前,世上其他地方就已有人使用望遠鏡。

單筒望遠鏡讓遠處的東西看起來較近、較亮。這不是魔術,是科學的緣故。光穿過不同物質,像是空氣、鏡片或水時,就會減慢或加速,這時候,從我們眼裡看起來那個東西就宛似變成了兩半。

你可以自己試試看。在一杯水或一碗水中放入一隻鉛筆,確定鉛筆是斜放的,再看看水與空氣接觸的地方,鉛筆看起來就像是斷裂成兩半。

科學家很久以前就知道這是光線的緣故,於是想出了利用這個原理來製造望遠鏡的方法。 (翻譯︰賴美君)

Today's Words 今天單字

1. lens n.

鏡片 (jing4 pian4)

例: When I dropped my glasses one of the lenses broke.

(我的眼鏡掉在地上時,一面鏡片破了。)

2. brighter adj.

較明亮的 (jiao4 ming2 liang4 de5)

例: The sun is brighter than the moon.

(太陽比月亮要亮。)

3. slanted adj.

傾斜的 (qing1 xie2 de5)

例: The floor of that old house is slanted. If you put a ball on the floor, it will roll to one side of the house.

(那間舊房子的地板傾斜。假如你在地板上放一顆球,球就會滾到房子的另一邊。)


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