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萬物簡史(MP3+中英字幕) 第542期:令人驚嘆的細胞(6)

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The draper's name was Antoni van Leeuwenhoek. Though he had little formal education and no background in science, he was a perceptive and dedicated observer and a technical genius.

這個亞麻布料商名叫安東尼·范·列文虎克。盡管他幾乎沒有受過正規教育,也無任何科學背景,但卻是一個敏銳的專心致志的觀察者和技術天才。
安東尼·范·列文虎克

To this day it is not known how he got such magnificent magnifications from simple handheld devices, which were little more than modest wooden dowels with a tiny bubble of glass embedded in them, far more like magnifying glasses than what most of us think of as microscopes, but really not much like either. Leeuwenhoek made a new instrument for every experiment he performed and was extremely secretive about his techniques, though he did sometimes offer tips to the British on how they might improve their resolutions. Leeuwenhoek was close friends with another Delft notable, the artist Jan Vermeer. In the mid-1660s, Vermeer, who previously had been a competent but not outstanding artist, suddenly developed the mastery of light and perspective for which he has been celebrated ever since. Though it has never been proved, it has long been suspected that he used a camera obscura, a device for projecting images onto a flat surface through a lens. No such device was listed among Vermeer's personal effects after his death, but it happens that the executor of Vermeer's estate was none other than Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the most secretive lens-maker of his day.

直到今天,我們也不知道他是怎樣通過簡陋的手工裝置制造出如此高倍率的顯微鏡。它無非就是將一小塊玻璃嵌入木榫而成,他的顯微鏡更像是放大鏡,而不像我們大多數人認為的顯微鏡,但其實二者都不太像。列文虎克每做一個實驗都要制作一件新的儀器。可是,對于自己的技術,他卻總是守口如瓶,不過他倒是就怎樣提高分辨率而向英國人透露過情況。(注:列文虎克是另一個代爾夫特著名畫家簡·弗美爾的密友。弗美爾一直是個有些才干,但不怎么出色的畫家。17世紀初,突然之間,他發明了一種色塊模糊化的技法,從此聲名遠揚。盡管未經證實,但是很長一段時間以來,人們懷疑他使用了一個暗箱,即一種通過透鏡將圖像投射到平面的裝置。弗美爾死后,這種裝置并沒有列入弗美爾的個人財產中,但是巧合的是弗美爾的財產的制指定遺產執行人不是別人,正是安東尼·范·列文虎克,即那個時代最守口如瓶的透鏡制作者。)
Over a period of fifty years—beginning, remarkably enough, when he was already past forty—Leeuwenhoek made almost two hundred reports to the Royal Society, all written in Low Dutch, the only tongue of which he was master.
在長達50年的時間里——不可思議的是,從他40多歲后才開始——他向皇家學會提交了近200份報告,全都用低地荷蘭語寫成,他只會這種語言。

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modest ['mɔdist]

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adj. 謙虛的,適度的,端莊的

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bubble ['bʌbl]

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n. 氣泡,泡影
v. 起泡,冒泡

 
lens [lenz]

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n. 鏡頭,透鏡,(眼球的)水晶體
vt

 
estate [is'teit]

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n. 財產,房地產,狀態,遺產

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secretive [si'kri:tiv]

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adj. 密秘的,偷偷摸摸的

 
device [di'vais]

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n. 裝置,設計,策略,設備

 
dedicated ['dedi.keitid]

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adj. 專注的,獻身的,專用的

 
notable ['nəutəbl]

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adj. 顯著的,著名的
n. 名人

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perspective [pə'spektiv]

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n. 遠景,看法,透視
adj. 透視的

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genius ['dʒi:njəs]

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n. 天才,天賦

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