Tue, May 06, 2008 - Page 14 News List

Italian researchers say they have found dark matter 義大利科學家宣稱找到暗物質

A ring of what NASA says is dark matter. The Hubble Space Telescope was used to discover the ghostly ring of dark matter which was formed long ago during a collision between two massive galaxy clusters. The photo was provided by NASA-ESA on May 15, 2007.美國航太總署認為是暗物質的環狀物,這個很久以前由兩大星系團碰撞而產生的如幽靈般無形的環狀暗物質,是透過哈伯太空望遠鏡發現的。照片由美國航太總署-歐洲太空總署於去年五月十五日提供。照片:美聯社�美國航太總署-歐洲太空總署


Scientists hunting an invisible form of matter that pervades the universe and holds galaxies together claim to have found it underneath a mountain in Italy.

The discovery, at a laboratory built deep into the Gran Sasso mountain in Abruzzo, could end a 70-year race to find “dark matter.” Physicists believe that most of the mass of the universe is in a “dark” form.

The existence of dark matter was first postulated in 1933 by a Swiss astronomer. The astronomer observed that distant galaxies must be held together by a huge gravitational pull caused by some apparently invisible form of matter. It gained the name “dark matter” because it does not shine or reflect light.

Researchers led by Dr Rita Bernabei at the University of Rome claim that a giant detector inside the mountain laboratory has picked up signs of dark matter. The signal suggests that it could be made of theoretical particles known as axions. The discovery was announced at a physics conference in Venice. The experiment was designed to detect dark matter in space as Earth flies through it.

Scientists are unlikely to take this single result as hard proof. Many say the discovery will have to be replicated by groups around the world before they can be sure they have finally shed light on dark matter. Earlier this year British researchers became the latest to join the hunt, using a laboratory deep inside an old salt mine in the north of England. The labs are built underground to shield them from other particles that could smother dark matter signals.

“We are pretty sure now that this is not a statistical fluke,” said astrophysicist Frank Halzen, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who heard Bernabei’s talk at the conference. “We should pay attention to this. We should not just ignore it,” he told the New Scientist journal.(THE GUARDIAN)

Out Loud 對話練習

Jim: What are you doing?

Jen: I’m looking for my calculator so I can figure out my bills.

Jim: What do you need a calculator for? Paying your bills isn’t rocket science.

Jen: I know, but I want everything to be done properly.

Jim: Try doing the math in your head. Your brain needs exercise, too. Remember, use it or lose it!






isn’t rocket science 非難事

If you say that something isn’t rocket science, you mean that it isn’t that difficult to do. The phrase is almost always used in the negative and is pretty sarcastic. For example, “This isn’t rocket science. In fact, I think a monkey could do it.”

如果你說某事「isn’t rocket science」,表示這件事執行起來並不難,這個片語幾乎都用於否定句,而且極具嘲諷意味。例如:「這又不是什麼難事,事實上,我想連猴子都可以做好」。








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