Beryllium 铍

Amateur Astronomer - - 宇宙奥秘 -

In the movie “Galaxy Quest,” a starship is powered by a sphere of beryllium, one of the lightest chemical elements. That may be strictly Hollywood fantasy, but beryllium is an important component in many spacecraft.

在电影《银河追缉令》中,有艘星际飞船是以球形铍为动力的,铍是最轻的化学元素之一。这可能完全是好莱坞的幻想之作,但铍却是很多航天器的重要成分。

Beryllium comes in several forms, but only one of them is stable. That form is produced between the stars, when cosmic rays zap atoms of heavier elements, splitting the atoms apart.

铍有几种形式,但仅有一种是稳定的。这种形式产生于恒星之间,当宇宙射线击穿较重的原子,并使原子分成两半时产生。

A tiny bit of beryllium was incorporated into Earth’s crust. And it has a lot of uses. It’s combined with copper or other elements, for example, to make alloys that are especially strong and durable.

微量的铍成了地球地壳的一部分,并有着广泛的用途。举个例子,它与铜或其他元素结合,制造成尤为结实耐用的合金。

Beryllium doesn’t block X-rays or most other forms of radiation, so it’s used in many scientific settings. It forms the pipes that surround the particle beams in the Large Hadron Collider. When the particles in those beams ram together, the radiation and particles they produce pass right through the pipes so they can be recorded by scientific instruments.

铍不能阻挡X射线或者其他大部分种类的辐射,所以被应用于很多科学设施之中。它构成大型强子对撞机中粒子束的管道。当这些粒子束中的粒子聚集在一起时,它们所产生的辐射和粒子正好通过管道,这样就能被科学仪器记录下来。

Beryllium also frequently finds its way into space. It’s used in some rocket nozzles, and was a key component in the brakes and windshields of the space shuttles.

铍也经常被应用于宇宙空间中。它应用于一些火箭喷管,也是航天飞机刹车和挡风玻璃的重要成分。

And because it doesn’t expand or contract much as it changes temperature, it’s also great for the mirrors of space telescopes. All the mirrors aboard Spitzer Space Telescope are made of beryllium, and so are the giant mirrors of the new James Webb Space Telescope — “powering” the continued exploration of the universe.

因为它不会随着温度改变而大幅延展或者收缩,它也是制造空间望远镜反射镜的绝佳材料。斯皮策太空望远镜上所有的镜子都是由铍制造的,就连詹姆斯·韦伯空间望远镜上的巨型反射镜也是如此——该镜为持续探索宇宙提供了“动力”。

在电影《银河追缉令》中,宇宙飞船是以铍为动力的。在现实生活中,铍并不能提供动力,但依然广泛运用于航天领域,很多航天飞机的刹车和挡风玻璃都是由铍制造的。图片来源:电影《银河追缉令》截图。

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