阅读理解， 补全短文， 完型填空各个题型上都有新增文章。
Let’s imagine a sculptor building a statue, just chipping away with his
chisel. Michelangelo had this elegant way of describing it when he said,
“Every block of stone has a statue inside of it, and it’s the task of
the sculptor to discover it.” But what if he worked in the opposite
direction? Not from a solid block of stone, but from a pile of dust,
somehow gluing millions of these particles together to form a statue.
I know that’s an absurd notion. It’s probably impossible. The only way
you get a statue from a pile of dust is if the statue built itself — if
somehow we could compel millions of these particles to come together to
form the statue.
The Tiniest Electric Motor in the World
Now, as odd as that sounds, that is almost exactly the problem I work on
in my lab. I don’t build with stone, I build with nanomaterials. They’re
these just impossibly small, fascinating little objects. They’re so
small that if this controller was a nanoparticle, a human hair would be
the size of this entire room. And they’re at the heart of a field we
call nanotechnology, which I’m sure we’ve all heard about, and we’ve all
heard how it is going to change everything.
Scientists recently made public the tiniest electric motor ever
built. You could stuff hundreds of them into the period at the end of
this sentence. One day a similar engine might power a tiny mechanical
doctor that would travel through your body to remove your disease.
The motor works by shuffling（来回运动） atoms（原子） between two
molten metal droplets（小滴） in a carbon nanotube（纳米管）. One
droplet is even smaller than the other. When a small electric current is
applied to the droplets, atoms slowly get out of the larger droplet and
join the smaller one. The small droplet grows – but never gets as big as
the other droplet – and eventually bumps into the large droplet. As they
touch, the large droplet rapidly sops up （吸入）the atoms it had
previously lost. This quick shift in energy produces a power
The technique exploits the fact that surface tension — the tendency
of atoms or molecules to resist separating — becomes more important at
small scales. Surface tension is the same thing that allows some insects
to walk on water.
Although the amount of energy produced is small — 20
microwatts（百万分之一瓦） — it is quite impressive（给人印象深刻的）
in relation to（与…相比） the tiny scale of the motor. The whole setup
is less than 200 nanometers on a side, or hundreds of times smaller than
the width of a human hair. If it could be scaled up to the size of an
automobile engine, it would be 100 million times more powerful than a
Toyota Camry’s 225 horsepower V6 engine.
In 1988, Professor Richard Muller and colleagues made the first
operating（工作的， 运行的） micromotor（微型发动机）, which was 100
microns（微米） across, or about the thickness of a human hair. In 2003,
Zettl’s group created the first nanoscale motor. In 2006, they built a
nanoconveyor（纳米传送带）, which moves tiny particles along like cars
in a factory.
Nanotechnology（纳米技术） engineers try to mimic nature, building
things atom-by-atom. Among other things, nanomotors could be used in
optical circuits to redirect light, a process called optical switching.
Futurists envision（预想） a day when nanomachines（纳米机器）, powered
by nanomotors（纳米发动机）, travel inside your body to find disease and
repair damaged cells.
When I was a graduate student, it was one of the most exciting times to
be working in nanotechnology. There were scientific breakthroughs
happening all the time. The conferences were buzzing, there was tons of
money pouring in from funding agencies. And the reason is when objects
get really small, they’re governed by a different set of physics that
govern ordinary objects, like the ones we interact with. We call this
physics quantum mechanics. And what it tells you is that you can
precisely tune their behavior just by making seemingly small changes to
them, like adding or removing a handful of atoms, or twisting the
material. It’s like this ultimate toolkit. You really felt empowered;
you felt like you could make anything.
And we were doing it — and by we I mean my whole generation of graduate
students. We were trying to make blazing fast computers using
nanomaterials. We were constructing quantum dots that could one day go
in your body and find and fight disease. There were even groups trying
to make an elevator to space using carbon nanotubes. You can look that
up, that’s true. Anyways, we thought it was going to affect all parts of
science and technology, from computing to medicine. And I have to admit,
I drank all of the Kool-Aid. I mean, every last drop.
But that was 15 years ago, and — fantastic science was done, really
important work. We’ve learned a lot. We were never able to translate
that science into new technologies — into technologies that could
actually impact people. And the reason is, these nanomaterials —
they’re like a double-edged sword. The same thing that makes them so
interesting — their small size — also makes them impossible to work
with. It’s literally like trying to build a statue out of a pile of
dust. And we just don’t have the tools that are small enough to work
with them. But even if we did, it wouldn’t really matter, because we
couldn’t one by one place millions of particles together to build a
technology. So because of that, all of the promise and all of the
excitement has remained just that: promise and excitement. We don’t have
any disease-fighting nanobots, there’s no elevators to space, and the
thing that I’m most interested in, no new types of computing.
A An introduction of a Toyota’s 225 horsepower V6 engine.
Now that last one, that’s a really important one. We just have come to
expect the pace of computing advancements to go on indefinitely. We’ve
built entire economies on this idea. And this pace exists because of our
ability to pack more and more devices onto a computer chip. And as those
devices get smaller, they get faster, they consume less power and they
get cheaper. And it’s this convergence that gives us this incredible
B A description of the nanomotor in terms of power and size.
As an example: if I took the room-sized computer that sent three men to
the moon and back and somehow compressed it — compressed the world’s
greatest computer of its day, so it was the same size as your smartphone
— your actual smartphone, that thing you spent 300 bucks on and just
toss out every two years, would blow this thing away. You would not be
impressed. It couldn’t do anything that your smartphone does. It would
be slow, you couldn’t put any of your stuff on it, you could possibly
get through the first two minutes of a “Walking Dead” episode if you’re
C [u]Surface tension[/u]（表面张力）.
D Previous inventions of nanoscale（纳米级的） products.
The point is the progress — it’s not gradual. The progress is
relentless. It’s exponential. It compounds on itself year after year, to
the point where if you compare a technology from one generation to the
next, they’re almost unrecognizable. And we owe it to ourselves to keep
this progress going. We want to say the same thing 10, 20, 30 years from
now: look what we’ve done over the last 30 years. Yet we know this
progress may not last forever. In fact, the party’s kind of winding
down. It’s like “last call for alcohol,” right? If you look under the
covers, by many metrics like speed and performance, the progress has
already slowed to a halt. So if we want to keep this party going, we
have to do what we’ve always been able to do, and that is to innovate.
E The working principle of the nanomotor.
So our group’s role and our group’s mission is to innovate by employing
carbon nanotubes, because we think that they can provide a path to
continue this pace. They are just like they sound. They’re tiny, hollow
tubes of carbon atoms, and their nanoscale size, that small size, gives
rise to these just outstanding electronic properties. And the science
tells us if we could employ them in computing, we could see up to a ten
times improvement in performance. It’s like skipping through several
technology generations in just one step.
F Possible fields of application in the future.
So there we have it. We have this really important problem and we have
what is basically the ideal solution. The science is screaming at us,
“This is what you should be doing to solve your problem.” So, all right,
let’s get started, let’s do this. But you just run right back into that
double-edged sword. This “ideal solution” contains a material that’s
impossible to work with. I’d have to arrange billions of them just to
make one single computer chip. It’s that same conundrum, it’s like this
At this point, we said, “Let’s just stop. Let’s not go down that same
road. Let’s just figure out what’s missing. What are we not dealing
with? What are we not doing that needs to be done?” It’s like in “The
Godfather,” right? When Fredo betrays his brother Michael, we all know
what needs to be done. Fredo’s got to go.