Passage A • Think About It • Read About It • Talk About It • Write About It
1. What do you think makes a successful scientist? Reference: Curiosity, patience, determination, genius, persistence, hardworking …
2. What kind of boy was Einstein in his parents’ eyes? Reference: They might have thought him slow because he hardly spoke until he was almost three years old.
3. Einstein once said: “Curiosity has its own reason for existence.” How do you understand this statement? Reference: Einstein was right because he himself was passionately curious when he was young. His curiosity sparked by wanting to know what controlled the compass needle led to his later success.
Read About It • Language Points • Content Awareness • Language Focus
Einstein’s Compass Young Albert was a quiet boy. “Perhaps too quiet”, thought Hermann and Pauline Einstein. He spoke hardly at all until age 3. They might have thought him slow, but there was something else evident. When he did speak, he’d say the most unusual things. At age 2, Pauline promised him a surprise. Albert was excited, thinking she was bringing him some new fascinating toy. But when his mother presented him with his new baby sister Maja, all Albert could do is stare with questioning eyes. Finally he responded, “Where are the wheels?”
When Albert was 5 years old and sick in bed, Hermann Einstein brought him a device that did stir his intellect. It was the first time he had seen a compass. He lay there shaking and twisting the odd thing, certain he could fool it into pointing off in a new direction. But try as he might, the compass needle would always find its way back to pointing in the direction of north. “A wonder,” he thought. The invisible force that guided the compass needle was evidence to Albert that there was more to our world that meets the eye. There was “something behind things, something deeply hidden.”
So began Albert Einstein’s journey down a road of exploration that he would follow the rest of his life. “I have no special gift,” he would say, “I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein was more than just curious though. He had the patience and determination that kept him at things longer than most others. Other children would build houses of card up to 4 stories tall before the cards would lose balance and the whole structure would come falling down. Maja watched in wonder as her brother Albert methodically built his card buildings to 14 stories. Later he would say, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
One advantage Albert Einstein’s developing mind enjoyed was the opportunity to communicate with adults in an intellectual way. His uncle, an engineer, would come to the house, and Albert would join in the discussions. His thinking was also stimulated by a medical student who came over once a week for dinner and lively chats. At age 12, Albert Einstein came upon a set of ideas that impressed him as “holy.” It was a little book on Euclidean plane geometry. The concept that one could prove theorems of angles and lines that were in no way obvious made an “indescribable impression” on the young student. He adopted mathematics as the tool he would use to pursue his curiosity and prove what he would discover about the behavior of the universe.
He was convinced that beauty lies in the simplistic. Perhaps this insight was the real power of his genius. Albert Einstein looked for the beauty of simplicity in the apparently complex nature and saw truths that escaped others. While the expression of his mathematics might be accessible to only a few sharp minds in the science, Albert could condense the essence of his thoughts so anyone could understand. For instance, his theories of relativity revolutionized science and unseated the laws of Newton that were believed to be a complete description of nature for hundreds of years. Yet when pressed for an example that people could relate to, he came up with this: “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. THAT’s relativity.”
Albert Einstein’s wealth of new ideas peaked while he was still a young man of 26. In 1905 he wrote 3 fundamental papers on the nature of light, a proof of atoms, the special theory of relativity and the famous equation of atomic power: E=mc2. For the next 20 years, the curiosity that was sparked by wanting to know what controlled the compass needle and his persistence to keep pushing for the simple answers led him to connect space and time and find a new state of matter. What was his ultimate quest? “I want to know how God created this world.... I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.” (700 words)
Albert Einstein German-American physicist who contributed more than any other scientist to the 20th-century vision of physical reality. His special and general theories of relativity revolutionized modern thought on the nature of space and time and formed a theoretical basis for the exploitation of atomic energy. He won a 1921 Nobel Prize for his explanation of the photoelectric（光电的）effect. Einstein, Albert (1879-1955)
They might have thought him slow, but there was something else evident. evidenta. — easily seen or understood; obvious • Examples • The threat of inflation is already evident in bond prices. • The audience waited with evident excitement for the performance to begin. More to learn
They might have thought him slow, but there was something else evident. Paraphrase If there had been no other evidence, they might have thought him slow (not quick to learn).
respondv. — to say or do something as a reaction to something that has been said or done • Examples • To every question the police officer asked, he responded “I don’t know.” • For patients who do not respond to drug treatment, surgery is a possible option. More to learn
respondv. — to say or do something as a reaction to something that has been said or done Try to Guess What is the meaning of correspond in the following sentence? He corresponds with me regularly. Key to communicate with a person by exchange of letters
stirv. — 1) to excite 2) to be roused • Examples • Henry Porter has stirred children’s imagination. • The mother’s grief stirred when she saw the photo of her son, who died in a traffic accident. Translate 他深为这项消息所激动。 Key He was deeply stirred by the news.
intellectn. — 1) the ability to use the power of reason 2) a person of great intellectual ability • Examples • Gates is a man noted more for his intellect than his charm. • Maria Gomez, historian, socialist and intellect, has died at the age of eighty-nine. More to learn
intellectn. — 1) the ability to use the power of reason 2) a person of great intellectual ability Compare intelligence n. — the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations • e.g. • intelligence quotient (IQ) • intelligence test
fool …into … (doing) — deceive somebody into doing something • Examples • Tim was fooled into believing that he’d won the lottery. • It was not right for Jean to fool Robert into believing that she was in love with him.
The invisible force that guided the compass needle was evidence to Albert that there was more to our world that meets the eye. invisiblea. — that can not be seen • Examples • Invisible marks on the bank note make it almost impossible to fake. • The Stealth fighter is an aircraft designed to be invisible to radar. More to learn
The invisible force that guided the compass needle was evidence to Albert that there was more to our world that meets the eye. invisibility n. • Example • His novel focused on the social invisibility of black people. More to learn
The invisible force that guided the compass needle was evidence to Albert that there was more to our world that meets the eye. The invisible force that guided the compass needle made Albert believe that there were things we couldn’t see.
up to — as a maximum number of amount • Examples • This language lab can hold up to about 40 people. • Up to two hundred people died in the air crash.
methodically ad. — in a very ordered, careful way • Examples • Joan methodically put the things into her suitcase. • Could you arrange the files methodically so that it will be convenient when you need them?
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” I can do this not because I’m very smart, but because I pursue problems longer.
come over — to make a short informal visit • Examples • Whenever in trouble she would come over to us for help. • I’ll come over to see you on my next day off.
come upon — to meet, find, or discover esp. by chance • Examples • Believe it or not, John came upon his wife to be in a flight to China. • I came upon this cool cap in a small store in Paris.
Euclidean plane geometry (欧几里得平面几何) A branch of geometry dealing with the properties of flat surfaces and of planar figures, such as the triangle or the circle. Greek mathematician Euclid first studied the subject in the 4th century BC.
in no way — not at all • Examples • Theory can in no way be separated from practice. • Alcohol will in no way ease your miseries. Translate 这些变化绝不是一种进步。 Key The changes are in no way an improvement.
curiosity n. — the desire to know or learn • Examples • It is important to develop the natural curiosity of each child. • I’m burning with curiosity ― you must tell me who’s won!
insight n. — (the ability to have) a clear, deep understanding of a complicated problem or situation • Examples • He was a brilliant actor who brought deep psychological insight to many of his roles. • Professor Becker offered some interesting insights into the human society. Translate He is a person of insight. Key 他是一个有洞察力的人。
genius n. — 1) great and rare power of thought, skill, or imagination 2) a person of very great ability or very high intelligence • Examples • He has a spark of genius that distinguishes him from the other actors. • Chaplin was not just a genius; he was among the most influential figures in film history.
apparently ad. — 1) according to what seems to be true 2) actually • Examples • Well, apparently she’s had enough of her major and she’s heading off to finance. • The window had apparently been forced open. • I thought they were married but apparently not. • She looks about 12 but apparently she’s 14.
While the expression of his mathematics might be accessible to only a few sharp minds in the science, … While the expression of his mathematics might be understood by only a few perceptive scientists, …
condense v. — to reduce in size • Examples • You should rewrite your thesis and condense 120 pages into 50. • All the suggestions put forward will be condensed into a single plan of action. Translate 蒸气接触到冷的表面而凝结成水珠。 Key Steam condenses/is condensed into water when it touches a cold surface.
essence n. — the central or most important quality of a thing • Examples • The essence of his argument was that education should continue throughout life. • A sharp rise in income tax is the essence of the new policy. More to learn
essence n. — the central or most important quality of a thing in essence — by nature; essentially • Example • He is in essence a fighter, and enjoys competition. Make a sentence by using “in essence” ?
relate to — to understand and accept • Examples • Many parents find it hard to relate to their children when they are teenagers. • She cannot relate to the idea of working with computers.
come up with — to think of (a plan, reply, etc.); produce • Examples • Scientists will have to come up with new methods of increasing the world’s food supply. • Many net service companies haven’t come up with an effective way to bring profits. More to learn
come up with — to think of (a plan, reply, etc.); produce come up against (sb./sth.) — to be faced with or apposed by sb./sth. • Example • We expect to come up against a lot of opposition to the scheme. More to learn
come up with — to think of (a plan, reply, etc.); produce come up to (sth.) — 1) to reach up as far as (a specified point) 2) to reach (an acceptable level or standard) • Examples • The water came up to my neck. • Their holiday in Korea didn’t come up to expectations.
peak — 1) v. to reach the highest point or level 2) n. the highest point or level • Examples • Official figures show that unemployment peaked in November and then fell slowly over the next two months. • Temperatures have peaked at over 40 ℃. • Holiday flights reach a peak before the Spring Festival. • At the peak of her career she startled us all with a decision to retire.
fundamental a. — forming the base, from which everything else originates; more important than anything else • Examples • Some understanding of grammar is fundamental to learning a language. • We need to make fundamental changes to the way in which we treat our environment. Translate 空气新鲜是身体健康之必需。 Key Fresh air is fundamental to good health.
spark v. — to be the cause of; lead to • Examples • The proposals are expected to spark heated debate. • The writer’s aim was to spark the readers into action.
persistence n. — the ability of continuing in a course of action or way of behaving • Examples • Skill comes only with practice, patience and persistence. • Most financial analysts didn’t foresee the persistence of the recession. More to learn
persistence insistence resistance persistence n. — the ability of continuing in a course of action or way of behaving Try to Guess Do you know the words — “insistence”, “resistance”? Key persist insist resist
push for — to try very hard to achieve or get • Examples • Britain’s health experts are pushing for a ban on all cigarette advertising. • The union leaders of that country are pushing for two things: higher wages and earlier retirement.
ultimate a. — being or happening at the end of a process or course of action • Examples • Although other people can advise him, the ultimate decision about who is to be employed lies with the personnel director. • His ultimate goal as an athlete is to represent his country.
I want to know how God created this world ... I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details. create v. — to cause something new to exist • Examples • The new government is expected to create more jobs. • It’s important to create a good impression when you meet a client. More to learn