Text C. THOMAS ALVA EDISON (1847 - 1931)
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Text C. THOMAS ALVA EDISON (1847 - 1931)



 

Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11,1847 in Milan, Ohio.

At the age of seven he entered school but left it very soon. The teacher thought that he was a dull boy. His mother then became his teacher. The boy loved books. He had a wonderful memory.

Edison began to work when he was twelve years old. His first job was a newspaper boy on a train. He soon began to produce his own newspaper. It was about the size of a handkerchief. He gathered news, printed and sold the newspapers all by himself. He had a small laboratory in the baggage car of this train. There he carried out experiments. Edison kept records of all his experiments. Then Edison got lessons in telegraphy and the next five years he worked as a telegraphist in various cities of the US and Canada.

In 1877 Edison invented a phonograph. This talking machine both recorded and played back. It resembled the present day tape recorder more than a record player.

Next Edison became interested in the invention of an electric-light bulb for lightning streets and buildings by electricity instead of by gas.

It had taken Edison and his assistants thirteen months to produce the incandescent lamp, but he already knew, that success awaited it. Edison was sure that the lamp should be burnt for a hundred hours.

Edison carried out experiments from morning till night. All his inventions were the results of his endless work. He sometimes made thousands of experiments. For months he slept no more than one or two hours a day. Yet he had time to read not only scientific books. He was fond of Shakespear and Tom Pain. He had over 10000 volumes in his library.

Edison continued to work all through his long life. He attributed his success not so much to genius as to hard work.

Edison's inventions include the phonograph, or gramo­phone, the megaphone, the cinematograph, the improved lamp of incandescent light, many greatly improved systems of telegraphic transmission and numerous other things.

 

Vocabulary

handkerchief носовой платок

incandescent lamp лампа накаливания

endless work бесконечная работа

invention изобретение

 

 

I. Read the text without a dictionary.

 

II. Answer the questions:

1. Who was Edison's real teacher?

2. When did he start to work?

3. What was his first invention?

4 What do Edison's inventions include?


 

III. Render in English:

 

ТОМАС АЛВА ЭДИСОН (1847—1931)

 

На счету Томаса Алвы Эдисона — американского изобретателя — 1093 патента. Вот почему Эдисон стал одним из самых известных изобре­тателей. Детство Эдисона можно легко пред­ставить себе, прочитав книгу Марка Твена «Приключения Тома Сойера». Жил он в таком же маленьком го­родке США и был таким же предпри­имчивым пареньком, как и Том Сойер. Тома Эдисона тоже все считали ленивым учеником, хотя внимательный педагог мог бы заме­тить в нем склонность к исследованиям, смекалку. В подвале дома он уст­роил химическую лабораторию, ста­вил в ней разные опыты, а чтобы друзья не покушались на содержимое пробирок, на каждой написал «Яд». В 12 лет Том бросил школу и пошел работать разносчиком газет. По­том освоил профессию телеграфи­ста — блестяще изучил технику рабо­ты телеграфирования и сам теле­графный аппарат. Первое изобретение Эдисона свя­зано именно с телеграфным аппара­том, причем сделал он его ради соб­ственного удовольствия: сконструи­ровал приставку, которая автомати­чески и периодически посылала услов­ный сигнал на станцию, подтверждав­ший, что телеграфист бдительно дежу­рит у аппарата. А сам он в это время спал. Второе изобретение Т. Эдисона ка­салось тоже телеграфа. Он приспособил телеграфный аппарат для передачи на расстояние сведений о биржевых курсах валюты и акций и заработал на этом первые 40 000 долларов, после чего полностью посвятил себя изобретательской дея­тельности. Это было в 1869 г. С тех пор в течение 61 года Т. Эдисон ведет напряженную изобретательскую рабо­ту и работу по внедрению своих нов­шеств в производство. Он установил для себя расписание, по которому тру­дился не менее 19,5 ч. в сутки, и лишь на склоне лет сбавил темп. Эдисон проявлял огромное упорство на пути к достижению цели. Поставив перед собой задачу создать завод по производству карбо­ловой кислоты, он 168 ч. не выходил из лаборатории, спал лишь урывками прямо на столе, но проблему решил. Для того чтобы создать щелочной аккумулятор, он провел около 50 000 опытов. В 1878 г. Эдисон обратился к про­блеме электрического освещения, по­шел по пути усовершенствования лампы накаливания А. Н. Лодыгина. За один год он провел 6000 опытов в поисках наилучшего материала для нити лампы накаливания. Лампы Т. Эдисона получили признание, но все же лучший материал для нитей — вольфрам предложил через несколько лет сам А. Н. Лодыгин. Не только в случае с лампой нака­ливания Т. Эдисон пошел по линии ко­ренного усовершенствования уже су­ществовавших ранее технических идей и изобретений. Телеграф был известен до Т. Эдисона. Но именно он нашел способ посылать по одному кабелю две или четыре телеграммы одновре­менно. Телефон изобрел А. Белл, но Эдисон внес в него значительные усовершенствования, которые устра­няли посторонние шумы и позволяли хорошо слышать собеседника на лю­бом расстоянии. Он как бы подхва­тывал эстафету первооткрывателей и делал новый мощный рывок вперед. В этом неуклонном, упрямом дви­жении вперед он обнаруживал и еще неведомое. Так произошло, когда он разрабатывал метод записи телеграмм на поверхности плоского вращающегося диска. Игла по спирали нано­сила на диске точки и тире. Еще один шаг вперед и — появляется аппарат, но уже записывающий не телеграф­ный код, а звуки человеческой речи, — фонограф. И так же как ранее Эдисон развивал идеи предшественников, те­перь изобретатели разных стран по­шли по открытому им пути: был создан графофон, потом граммофон, патефон, проигрыватель. Один из первых своих фонографов Эдисон послал Л. Тол­стому, и благодаря этому для потом­ков сохранен голос великого русского писателя. На склоне лет Эдисон задумался над тем, чтобы найти себе преемника. Лишь двое из 40 претендентов выдер­жали сложнейший экзамен. Из них впоследствии получились хорошие ин­женеры, но... Т. Эдисон не повторился.     patent   enterprising   lazy inclination for sharp wit, basement to touch poison     device   special signal to be on duty   to deal with   rate of exchange shares   to introduce   to be persistent     carbolic acid     alkaline accumulator     filament   tungsten     to eliminate extra noise   continuous unknown to work out, recording, on the surface of a flat rotating disk, needle, spirally, dots and dashes predecessors   successor, competitors  

 

 

Text D. Coming Events

 

You are a guide of 3 specialists who arrived in Great Britain on a business trip from 12 January to 12 February. You can find the problems they are interested in in the following chart. Look through ‘Coming Events’ and make a programme for each of them. Fill in the chart.

 

Name (country) Problem Event Place Date/ time
l. Prof. Petrov I. (Russia) comput­ers and micro­process­ors            
2. Dr. La Roche (France) sport cars            
3. Dr. J.Smith (the USA) history of auto­mobile industry            

 

Coming Events

 

CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Man­ufacturing) International Show (8-10 January)

International show, organised by International Exhibitions to be held in Birmingham, further information from International Exhibitions Ltd, 8 Herbal Hill, London.

 

Glasgow Museum of Transport (28 January)

A visit is being arranged to Museum of Transport, 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow by Scottish AD Centre; Assemble at 6 p.m. but persons wishing to attend should first contact Jim Douglas on 041 332 6811 as numbers are limited.

 

Henry Royce — mechanic (31 January)

Lecture to be presented by Donald Bastow at a meeting organised jointly between Western AD Centre and Western Branch to be held in the Queen's Building University of Bristol, commencing 7p.m.

 

Subject to be announced (5 February)

A lecture organised by Birmingham AD Centre will be an­nounced in Mechanical Engineering News. It is to be held at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Further information from R. E. Smith

 

The history of the VW Beetle (11 February)

Lecture to be presented by Janathan Wood, Automobile His­torian, at a meeting organised by Derby AD Centre to be held in Room U 020, Brockington Bldg, University of Loughborough, commencing 6.15 p.m.

 

Microprocessors in fluid power engineering (3-4 February)

Conference organised by the institution of Mechanical Engi­neers to be held at the University of Bath, further information from the Conference Department.

 

Computer-aided design (12-14 January)

A short course for engineers and draughtsmen organised by the IMechE is to be held at the Centre of Engineering Design, Cranfield Institute of Technology. Contact the Courses Officer for further information.

 

Jaguar sports cars (25 January)

Lecture to be presented by Mr Randle of Jaguar Cars Ltd at a meeting organised by Luton AD Centre to be held at the Sun Ho­tel, Sun Street, Hitchin, commencing 8 p.m.

 

Robot '90s (2-5 February)

14th International Exhibition Symposium on Industrial Robots organised by the Swedish Trade Fair Foundation to be held in Gothenburg, Sweden. Further information from the Swedish Fair Foundation, Goteborg, Sweden.

 

Sir Henry Royce Memorial Lecture (15 February)

Lecture, organised by IMechE AD Centre at 1 Birdcage Walk, London, to be given by Ing Sergio Pininfanna at 6p.m.

 

Students' Project — presentation evening (15 February)

Lecture to be given by undergraduates from local educational establishments, organised by Derby AD Centre to be held in Room U 020, Brockington Building, University of Technology, Loughborough, commencing 5.45 for 6.15 p.m. Further informa­tion from C.E. Hunter.

 

Racing Jaguars (16 January)

Lecture to be presented by Mr J. Randle, Director, Product Engineering, Jaguar Cars Ltd at a meeting organised jointly be­tween IProd E and NM Branch NP YMS by North Eastern AD Centre to be held at the Metropole Hotel, Leeds, commencing 7.15 p.m.

 

Formula one motor racing (25 January)

Lecture to be presented by Mr S. Hallam of Lotus Cars at a meeting organised by Western AD Centre to be held at the Queens Buildings, University of Bristol, commencing 7 p.m.

 

 

C o n v e r s a t i o n

Great Scientists

 

I. Learn to speak about great scientists. Make use of the following articles.

Mikhail Lomonosov

 

Mikhail Lomonosov was born in 1711 in the family of a fisherman in the northern coastal village of Denisovka not far from Archangelsk. When he was ten years of age his father began to take him for sea fishing. The dangerous life of a fisherman taught him to observe the natural phenomena more closely. During the long winter nights young Lomonosov studied his letters, grammar and arithmetic diligently.

Being the son of a peasant, he was refused admission to the local school. After some years, through concealing his peasant origin, he gained admission to the Slavonic-Greek-Latin Academy and for five years lived a hand-to-mouth existence on three kopecks a day. The noblemen's sons studying with him made fun of the twenty-year-old giant who, in spite of the years and his own poverty, made rapid progress.

After five years came the chance of entering the Academy of Sciences, as there were not enough noble-born students to fill the quota. His ability and diligence attracted the attention of the professors and as one of three best students he was sent abroad. He spent all the time there studying the works of leading European scientists in chemistry, metallurgy, mining and mathematics. On his return to Russia in 1745 he was made a professor and was the first Russian scientist to become a member of the Academy of Sciences.

For versatility Lomonosov has no equal in Russian science. Many of his ideas and discoveries only won recognition in the nineteenth century. He was the first to discover the vegetable origin of coal, for instance, and as a poet and scientist he played a great role in the formation of the Russian literary language, eliminating distortions and unnecessary foreign words. He died in 1765. His living memorial is Moscow University, which he founded in 1755.

 

Roentgen

 

In 1895 a German professor Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen discovered a new kind of invisible rays. These rays could pass through clothes, skin and flesh and cast the shadow of the bones themselves on a photographic plate. You can imagine the impression this announcement produced at that time.

Let us see how Roentgen came to discover these all-penetrating rays. One day Roentgen was working in his laboratory with a Crookes tube. Crookes had discovered that if he put two electric wires in a glass tube, pumped air out of it and connected the wires to opposite electric poles, a stream of electric particles would emerge out of the cathode (that is, the negative electric pole).

Roentgen was interested in the fact that these cathode rays made certain chemicals glow in the dark. On this particular day Roentgen was working in his darkened laboratory. He put his Crookes tube in a box made of thin black cardboard and switched on the current to the tube. The black box was lightproof, but Roentgen noticed a strange glow at the far corner of his laboratory bench. He drew back the curtains of his laboratory window and found that the glow had come from a small screen which was lying at the far end of the bench.

Roentgen knew that the cathode rays could make the screen glow. But he also knew that cathode rays could not penetrate the box. If the effect was not due to the cathode rays, what mysterious new rays were causing it? He did not know, so he called them X-rays.

Roentgen placed all sorts of opaque materials between the source of his X-rays and the screen. He found that these rays passed through wood, thin sheets of aluminium, the flesh of his own hand; but they were completely stopped by thin lead plates and partially stopped by the bones of his hand. Testing their effect on photographic plates he found that they were darkened on exposure to X-rays.

Roentgen was sure that this discovery would contribute much for the benefit of science. Indeed, medicine was quick to realise the importance of Roentgen's discovery. The X-rays are increasingly used in industry as well.

 









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