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In “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” a story by F. Scott Fitzgerald and then a movie starring Brad Pitt, a man ages backward: He is born an old man, regresses over the years and dies an infant.

《本杰明·巴顿奇事》是菲茨杰拉德所创作的小说,随后被翻拍成布拉德·皮特主演的电影,在这个故事里有个男人的年龄是倒退的:他生来是个老人,随后一直逆生长直至以婴儿状态死去。

This is not typically seen in regular life. The question is, why not?

这在日常生活中并不常见,但问题是,为什么不呢?

In what amounts to a technological triumph for the aspiring Benjamin Buttons of the virtual world, a team of quantum physicists reported earlier this year that they had succeeded in creating a computer algorithm that acts like the Fountain of Youth.

今年早些时候,一组量子物理学家报告称,他们成功地创造出了一种电脑算法,其功能就像不老泉一样。这对希望实现虚拟世界中的本杰明•巴顿的人来说,在技术上是一场胜利。

Using an IBM quantum computer, they managed to undo the aging of a single, simulated elementary particle by one millionth of a second. But it was a Pyrrhic victory at best, requiring manipulations so unlikely to occur naturally that it only reinforced the notion that we are helplessly trapped in the flow of time.

利用IBM量子计算机,他们成功地将单个模拟的基本粒子的老化过程倒退了百万分之一秒。但这充其量是一场代价巨大的胜利,需要的操作基本不可能自然发生,这只会强化这样一种观念:我们被牢牢困在时间的洪流中,没救。

Most of us already sense that the atoms of a scrambled egg can’t be unscrambled back inside a pristine shell. Now it seems that, under general conditions, even a single particle probably can’t go backward without help and careful tinkering.

我们大多数人已经意识到,炒蛋的原子无法被重新放入一个原始的壳内。现在看来,在一般情况下,如果没有帮助和仔细的修补,即使是单个粒子也可能无法倒退。

“We demonstrate that time-reversing even ONE quantum particle is an unsurmountable task for nature alone,” Valerii M. Vinokur, of Argonne National Laboratory, said in an email message; he is one of the five aspiring time lords led by Gordey B. Lesovik of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

阿贡国家实验室的Valerii M. Vinokur在一封电子邮件中说,“我们证明,即使是对一个量子粒子来说,自然状态下,时间逆转也是一项无法克服的任务。”他是由莫斯科物理与技术学院的Gordey B. Lesovik所领导的五个有抱负的时间领主之一。

“The system comprising two particles is even more irreversible, let alone the eggs — comprising billions of particles — we break to prepare an omelet.”

“由两个粒子组成的系统更不可逆,更不用说我们做蛋饼时打碎的鸡蛋里那数十亿个粒子了。”

今日词汇

reverse [rɪ'vɜːs]

v. (使)反转

文中的” time-reverse”,时间倒转

to reverse a car倒车

reverse one’s decision 改变决定

后文出现的irreversible,adj.,不可逆的;不能翻转的

irreversible brain damage

不可逆转的大脑损伤

文章来源:沪江英语

图片来源:高品图像

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