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D Architectural experiments with glass
1 Glass, in one form or another, has long been in noble service to humans. As one of the most widely used of manufactured materials, and certainly the most versatile, it can be as imposing as telescope mirror or as a marble rolling across dirt. The uses of this adaptable material have been broadened dramatically by new technologies glass fibre optics carrying telephone and television signals across nations, glass ceramics serving as the nose cones of missiles and as crowns for teeth; tiny glass beads taking radiation doses inside the body to specific organs, even a new type of glass fashioned of nuclear waste in order to dispose of that unwanted material.
2 On the horizon are optical computers. These could store programs and process information by means of light - pulses from tiny lasers - rather than electronics. Today fibre optics are used to obtain a clearer image of smaller and smaller objects than ever before — even bacterial viruses. A new generation of optical instruments is emerging that can provide detailed imaging of the inner workings of cells. It is the surge in fibre optic use and in liquid crystal displays that has set the US glass industry (a 16 billion dollar business employing some 150, 000 workers) to building new plants to meet demand.
3 But it is not only in technology and commerce that glass has widened its horizon. The use of glass art, a tradition spins back at least to Roman times, is also booming. Nearly everywhere, it seems, men and women are blowing glass and creating works of art.
4 But now all the glass technology that touches our lives is ultra-modern. Consider the simple light bulb: at the turn of the century most light bulbs were hand blown and the cost of one was equivalent to half a day's pay for the average worker. In effect, the invention of the ribbon machine by Corning in the 1920s lighted a nation. The price of a bulb plunged. Small wonder that the machine has been called one of the great mechanical achievements of all time. Yet it is very simple: a narrow ribbon of molten glass travels over a moving belt of steel in which there are holes. The glass sags through the holes and into waiting moulds. Puffs of compressed air then shape the glass. In this way, the envelope of a light bulb is made by a single machine at a rate of 66, 000 an hour, as compared with 1, 200 a day produced by a team of four glassblowers.
5 The secret of the versatility of glass lies in its interior structure. Although it is rigid, and thus like a solid, the atoms are arranged in a random disordered fashion, characteristic of a liquid. In the melting process, the atoms in the raw materials are disturbed from their normal position in
he molecular structure gives the material what engineers call tremendous " formability" which allows technicians to tailor glass to whatever they need.
6 Today, scientists continue to experiment with new glass mixtures and building designers test their imaginations with applications of special types of glass. A London architect, Mike Davies, sees even more dramatic buildings using molecular chemistry. As for the glass changing colours instantly, that may come true. Glass as instant curtains is available now, but the cost is exorbitant.
Раздел 3. Грамматика и лексика
Underline the noun that is usually uncountable in each group. Use your dictionary to look up any new words.
Example: shirt fashion skirt tie blouse
a) holiday journey flight luggage suitcase
b) meal dish food menu dessert
c) cheque coin cash salary bonus
d) tractor corn barn field orchard
e) raspberry plum fruit fig mango
f) job employee boss unemployment profession
g) basement attic cellar bedsit accommodation
h) health pill disease operation prescription
i) disco musical music opera concert
j) motorway traffic jam lorry rush hour traffic
Переведите с русского на английский язык
- Это зонт.
6. У тебя есть хоть сколько-нибудь денег?
У меня много денег.
7. Давай приготовим что-нибудь. У нас достаточно яиц, немного яблок и много муки.
8. У нее длинные светлые волосы.
9. Ты читал какие-нибудь работы М.Горького?
10. - Дай мне какую-нибудь газету.
- Мне нужна бумага.