Reading After-class Ex1.and Key


The marvelous telephone andtelevision network that has now enmeshed the whole world, making all menneighbours, cannot be extended into space. It will never be possible to conversewith anyone on another planet. Even with today's radio equipment, the messageswill take minutes—sometimes hours—on their journey, because radio and lightwaves travel at the same limited speed of 186, 000 miles a second.

Twenty years from now you will be able to listen toa friend on Mars, but the words you hear will have left his mouth at leastthree minutes earlier, and your reply will take a corresponding time to reachhim. In such circumstances, an exchange of verbal messages is possible—but not aconversation.

To a culture which has come to take instantaneouscommunication for granted, as part of the very structure of civilized life,this “time barrier” may have a profound psychological impact. It will be aperpetual reminder of universal laws and limitations against which not all ourtechnology can ever prevail. For it seems as certain as anything can be that nosignal—still less any material object—can ever travel faster than light.

The velocity of light is the ultimate speed limit,being part of the very structure of space and time. Within the narrow confinesof the solar system, it will not handicap us too severely. At the worst, thesewill amount to twenty hours—the time it takes a radio signal to span the orbitof Pluto, the outer-most planet.

It is when we move out beyond the confines of thesolar system that we come face to face with an altogether new order of cosmicreality. Even today, many otherwise educated men—like those savages who cancount to three but lump together all numbers beyond four—cannot grasp theprofound distinction between solar and stellar space. The first is the spaceenclosing our neighbouring worlds, the planets; the second is that whichembraces those distant suns, the stars, and it is literally millions of timesgreater. There is no such abrupt change of scale in the terrestrial affairs.

Many conservative scientists, appalled by thesecosmic gulfs, have denied that they can ever be crossed. Some people neverlearn; those who sixty years ago scoffed at the possibility of flight, and tenyears ago laughed at the idea of travel to the planets, are now quite sure thatthe stars will always be beyond our reach. And again they are wrong, for theyhave failed to grasp the great lesson of our age—that if something is possible intheory, and no fundamental scientific laws oppose its realization, then sooneror later it will be achieved.

One day we shall discover a really efficient meansof propelling our space vehicles. Every technical device is always developed toits limit and the ultimate speed for spaceships is the velocity of light. Theywill never reach that goal, but they will get very near it. And then thenearest star will be less than five years voyaging from the earth.514 words

1.For light to travel across the solar system, itwill take_______.

A a year   B nearly aday   C twomonths    D thirty minutes

2.The fact that it will never be possible toconverse with someone on another planet shows that________

A radio messages do not travel fast enough

B no object can ever travel faster than light

C western culture has a special idea of communication

D certain universal laws cannot be prevailed against

3.Confronted with the new order of cosmic reality,many educated men________.

A become ignorant savage again             B find the time barrier unbearable

C will not combine solar and stellar spaceD cannot adaptto the abrupt change of scale

4.Conservative scientists who deny that cosmicgulfs can ever be crossed will________

A laugh at the very idea of flight        B learn a lessonas they did ten years ago

C find space travel beyond their reachD oppose thefundamental scientific laws

5.The author of the passage intends toshow__________.

A the limitations of our technology   B the vastness of the cosmic reality

C the prospect of planetary travel      D thepsychological impact of time and space


enclose   vt.* [常用被动态] to surround sth., especially with a fence or wall, in order to makeit separate(尤指用篱笆或围墙)围起来例:A high wall enclosedthe courtyard. 一堵高墙把院子围了起来。 随信附上,随信装入 例:Please enclose a check with your order. 请您随定单附上支票。

en-是构成动词的前缀,表示 “使处于某种状态,使有某种特征,使成为……”例:danger使陷入危险中,危害,危及,enlarge使变大,扩大,enslave使成为奴隶,奴役②“把……包住;包涵”例:encircle围绕,环绕,包围,encase把……放入箱(盒、袋等)内

lump   n. a small piece of something solid, without a particular shape(不定形的)块例:There were lumps in the sauce. 酱汁中有块状的东西。②方糖例:One lump or two? 要一块还是两块方糖?vt. to accept a situation or decision you do not like because youcannot change it 无奈地接受 例: Im going to that party! Like it or lump it! 我打算去参加那个聚会!不管喜欢还是不喜欢!

[短语搭配] *lump sth.together 把……合在一起考虑;算在一起 例:Pacifists, atheists and journalists were all lumped together as troublemakers和平主义者、无神论者和记者都被归为“捣乱分子”。


enmesh vt. *用网捕捉,使陷入网中;文中指“以电话和电视网络将整个世界联系起来” 使陷入,使卷入 例:be enmeshed in difficulties陷入困难中

stellar  a.*恒星的,与星有关的 极好的 例:the companys stellar growth公司的良好发展

terrestrial  a.  陆地的 * 地球上的


1. The marvelous telephone and television networkthat has now enmeshed the whole world, makingall men neighbors, cannot beextended into space.

该句主干是一个被动句The marveloustelephone and television network... cannot be extended into space。其中that引导的定语从句做后置定语修饰network;分词短语making all men neighbors当结果状语,修饰整个定语从句。

2. To a culture which has come to takeinstantaneous communication for granted, as part of the very structure ofcivilized life, this “time barrier” may have a profound psychological impact.

该句主干是This time barriers may have aprofound psychological impact。介词短语to a culturewhich... 充当状语成分,修饰句子主干,其中which引导的定语从句修饰a culture;介词短语as... 与前面的动词take构成“动词+复合宾语”的结构take sth. as sth.(把……看作……)。

3. Those who sixty years ago scoffed at thepossibility of flight, and ten years ago laughed at the idea of travel to theplanets, are now quite sure that the stars will always be beyond our reach.

该句主干是Those... are nowquite sure that... who引导的定语从句修饰主语those;连词and 连接的两个动词短语scoffed...laughed... 是并列关系,一起充当定语从句的谓语。that引导的从句充当表语。




第一段:开篇指出,地球上的通信系统无法延伸到太空中,因此人类无法实现星际之间的对话。接着分析原因:无线电波和光波传播速度的限制(the same limited speed)使信息需要花很长时间才能到达(the messages will take minutes—sometimes hours—on their journey)。

第二段:以火星为例,具体说明星际之间无法实现通常意义上的“对话”(a conversation is impossible)。由此可以推知,未来星际之间的交流将采用延时通信(communication delay)的方式。


第三段:指出“时间障碍”对人们造成的心理影响(aprofound psychological impact),即人们意识到技术不能战胜宇宙的普遍规律和限制(universal laws and limitations against which not all our technologycan ever prevail)。

第四段:指出速度限制在狭小的太阳系内(thenarrow confines of the solar system)不会给人们带来不便(will not handicap us too severely),并且以冥王星为例说明速度的限制在太阳系内最多造成20个小时的延迟。


第五段:提出观点一,即,人们应该认识到太阳系之外的宇宙更浩瀚,天体规模的变化更突然(greater abrupt changeof scale)。该段批评了一些人对宇宙的无知(like savagescannot grasp theprofound distinction),并且对太阳系和恒星系两个概念给予了界定。

第六段:批评那些否认跨越宇宙鸿沟的可能性(appalledby these cosmic gulfs, denied that they can ever be crossed)的保守的科学家。从理论上进行论证:人类的发展证明,只要是理论上证明可能的事情,人类迟早能够实现(If something is possible in theory, then sooner or  later it will be achieved)。

第七段:提出观点二,即,技术的发展将使跨越宇宙鸿沟变为可能。该段指出未来的航天器驱动方式(a really efficient means of propelling our space vehicles)将会接近速度的极限。全文最后以展望星际旅行的前景结束。




1. 事实细节题

(1) 文中出现多处数字,包括:无线电波或者光波的传播速度都是每秒186, 000英里;无线电信号达到冥王星的时间是20小时;未来乘坐航天器达到最近的恒星需要大约5年的时间。针对这些细节可以命制数字细节题,参见试题11

(2) 第一段含有两个层次的因果关系:人类无法实现星际之间的对话是因为信号传送时间长;信号传送时间长是因为无线电波或者光波传播速度的限制。这里可以命制因果细节题,参见试题12

(3) 结合第三段和第四段考查“速度限制或时间障碍”造成的影响。如:[A 人类不再盲目崇拜技术;[B 给人类生活带来诸多不便;[C 星际之间无法进行交流;[D 诱发人类一些心理疾病。(答案:[A])

2. 推理引申题

(1) 针对第二段关于与火星上的人交流的描述考查未来星际之间的交流方式。

(2) 针对第四段末句考查太阳系内通信延迟的时间最长可以达多久。

3. 人物观点、态度题

第五段和第六段提到了两类保守的人,根据文中的描述,可以命制人物观点题,参见试题1314。也可以考查他们看待时间障碍问题的态度,如:[A 肯定的;[B 否定的;[C 中立的;[D 含糊不清的。(答案:[A])

4. 作者观点、态度题

(1) 考查作者对文中提到的两类人的态度,如:[A 褒扬;[B 批判;[C 同情;[D 厌恶。(答案:[B])

(2) 根据第五段至第七段,考查作者观点,如:[A 人类在浩瀚的宇宙中十分渺小;[B 人们应该了解太阳系之外的宇宙;[C 技术的力量是无穷无尽的;[D 宇宙速度的限制迟早会被突破。(答案:[B])

5. 词义句意题

(1) 考查第五段lump together的含义。

(2) 根据上文推测第六段末句If something is possible in theory... then sooner or later it willbe achieved的含义,如:[A未来的人类终将跨越宇宙鸿沟;[B任何设想都不要违背自然规律;[C保守的人永远不能正确预见未来;[D理论与实际的距离只是时间问题。(答案:[A])



A一年。 B 将近一天。C两个月。 D 30分钟。

[精解] 答案B本题考查考生的数字推理能力。原文中没有直接的回答,但是第一段末句指出:“无线电和光的传播速度相同。”第四段最后一句又指出,无线电传到太阳系中最远的冥王星,要20小时。所以[B]项正确。


A无线电的传播速度不够快  B 没有物体能比光的速度快


[精解] 答案A本题考查事实细节。第一段后两句指出,“永远不可能和另一个星球人进行对话。即使有今天的无线电设备,信息传播也需要好几分钟,甚至好几个小时,因为无线电和光波都是以有限速度传播。”第二段中举了一个和火星人交流的例子,得出的结论是:“交换语言信息是可能的,但是不可能对话。”[A]项指的是传播速度的限制,为正确项。[B]是第三段末句的改写,是事实,但它与无法实现星际对话没有必然的联系。[C]项在第三段提到,但“认为即刻交流是理所当然的文化”是人思维局限的表现,而“人无法和另外一个星球的人进行对话”是自然规律事实,后者不能表明前者。该段也提到,“时间的局限性”(即无法和外星人进行对话)提醒我们不是所有的技术都能战胜普遍规律和限制,因此这里说明的是“技术的局限性”,而不是[D]项中的“规律的不可战胜性”。


A又变成无知的野人              B 发现“时间局限性”不可容忍


[精解] 答案D本题考查事实细节。文章第五段第二句提到,“许多在别的方面受过教育的人,像只能数到三的野人,无法明白太阳系和恒星系的巨大不同。……(后者比前者)确实大几百万倍,地球上的事物在规模上没有这样巨大的变化。”可见,他们无法适应如此巨大的规模变化,选择[D]。[A]项拘泥于字面含义,没有理解文中举出“野人”只是为了说明那些受过教育的人在变化面前的无知,而不是真的变成了野人。[B]项文中未提,[C]项中“结合”应换成“区分”,才符合文意。


A嘲笑飞行的想法          B 10年前一样吸取教训


[精解] 答案C本题考查事实细节。倒数第二段谈到这些保守科学家时,作者指出:“一些人从来不吸取教训;他们60年前怀疑飞行的可能性,10年前耻笑飞往其他行星的想法,现在又满有把握地说恒星是我们永远不能及的。”据此,最为相近的答案应该是[C]。


A我们技术的局限性   B 宇宙现实的广阔性

C星际旅行的前景     D 时间和空间对心理上的影响

[精解] 答案C本题考查写作目的。综观全文,作者从无线电和光速谈起,批评了很多持保守态度的人,进而论证人类终将跨越宇宙鸿沟。文章最后描述未来星际旅行标志了人类跨越宇宙鸿沟的实现。可见,[C]是作者要说明的问题。


神奇的电话和电视网络将整个世界连结在一起,使所有的人都成了邻居,但是却不能延伸到宇宙中。你永远不可能和另一个星球上的人进行对话。即使有今天的无线电设备,信息传播也需要好几分钟,有时候甚至好几个小时,因为无线电和光波都是以每秒186, 000英里的有限速度传播。