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Ancient Steel-Making Secret

When two metallurgists at Stanford University were trying to produce a «superplastic» metal they became interested in the secret of Damascus steel, the legendary material used by numerous war­riors (воины) of the past, including Crusaders (крестоносцы). Its formula had been lost for generations.

Analyses of a new steel revealed properties almost identical to those they found in Damascus steel, although their own plastic steel had been produced by present-day methods.

The remarkable characteristics of Damascus steel became known to Europe when the Crusaders reached the Middle East in the 11th century. They discovered that swords (меч) of the metal could split (рассечь) a feather (перо) in air and at the same time retain their edge sharp through many battles.

The secrets of Damascus steel were known in many parts of the ancient world, especially in Persia, where some of the finest speci­mens were produced. For eight centuries the Arab sword makers kept the secret about their techniques and methods. And with the invention of firearms (огнестрельное оружие), the secret was lost and it was never fully rediscovered.


The two metallurgists carried out a lot of researches. When they realized that they might be close to the discovery of a new material, a sword fancier (знаток), at one of their demonstrations, pointed out that Damascus steel, like their own product, was very rich in carbon. This led them to conduct a comparative analysis of their steel and those of the ancient weapons. As a result, it was found that a basic requirement was a high carbon content. The two metal­lurgists believed it had to be from 1 per cent to 2 per cent, compared to only a part of 1 per cent in ordinary steel. Their research showed how to make steel of even greater hardness than Damascus steel.

Text 6D

Прочитайте текст. Расскажите по-английски, чем примечателен читаль­ный зал Библиотеки Британского музея и какие отделы имеются в Британ­ском музее.

The British Museum

The British Museum consisting of the National Museum of Ar­cheology and Ethnography and the National Library is the largest and richest of its kind in the world. Built in the middle of the last century it is situated in central London which consists of quiet squares and streets.



The British Museum was founded by Act of Parliament in 1753 to bring together the collection of Sir Robert Cotton, some others and future addition to them.

Anthony Panizzi designed the famous circular Reading Room at the British Museum. The first thing that strikes a visitor on en­tering the Reading Room is its unusual shape. It is a perfect circle. The superintendent (управляющий) and his assistant sit in the centre of the room and they issue (выдавать) and collect books. Long rows of reading desks radiate to the outer walls, like the spokes (спицы) of the wheel.

Many famous people have used the Reading Room at the Brit­ish Museum. Of the many distinguished people who have used the Reading Room no one was perhaps more regular and more intent (целеустремленный) than the German philosopher and socialist Karl Marx. Soon after he arrived in England in 1849, Marx became a daily visitor of the Reading Room, where he used to remain from nine in the morning till closing time.

The British Museum has a department of ethnography. Ethnog­raphy is concerned with primitive people and their cultures in vari­ous stages of development as revealed by their tools, ritual objects and various crafts (ремесло). This collection is so vast that only a




tiny percentage is on show to the general public. Then there is a de­partment of prints and drawings. There are also departments devoted to maps, coins and medals. Visitors interested in chronology can see a large collection of clocks and watches. Those who are interested in philately can find a magnificent collection of postage stamps.

ДОПОЛНИТЕЛЬНЫЕ ЗАДАНИЯ

Упражнение 1. А.Прочитайте следующие выражения из текста 6А и по­старайтесь догадаться о значении выделенных слов и словосочетаний.

1. this label«Made in Space»

2. in the not so distantfuture

3. with peculiarmagnetic properties

4. prolongedweightlessness

5. The Archimedes principal is no longer valid

6. the theoretical basisfor space industry

7. on boardthese vehicles; on boardorbital station

8. preparatorywork for industrial production in space

9. replace the specimens

В. Подберите к каждому выделенному в А слову соответствующее ему по значению.

a. well based, correct, effective

b. needed for preparing; introductory
с continuing for a long time

d. foundation

e. in a ship

f. not so far away in time

g. special, particular

h. piece of paper, metal or other material used to describe what smth. is, where it is to go, etc. i. one as an example of a class

Упражнение 2. А.Прочитайте текст и постарайтесь догадаться о значе­нии терминов shape memory alloy, suggest, remember, piston, contract, expand, engine.

Shape memory alloys (SMA) are in general usage today. What exactly is a SMA? As the name suggests, this alloy can remember its original shape or form. Essentially it is a metal which can be de­formed when cold and will return to its first shape when hot.



The particular alloy we are speaking about is nickel titanium. We can see here one application in a conventional piston. When


the piston is cold, the SMA coil or spring contracts and so the pis­ton does not move. Heat causes it to expand and consequently the piston moves up. The advantage is that the device can work without any mechanical power, just from the heat which is supplied by the engine itself.

В. Найдите в приведенном выше тексте 5 пар синонимов и 3 пары анто­нимов.

Упражнение3. Замените выделенные словосочетания соответствующи­ми глаголами expand, remember, contract, suggest, deform.

The name SMA causes us to thinkthat such an alloy can keep in memoryits original shape. In other words it can change its shape.When cold it gets smaller.When hot it gets bigger.

Упражнение 4.Составьте возможные словосочетания из глаголов в ко­лонке А и существительных из колонки В, переведите их и запомните.


1. make

2. meet

3. obtain/provide

4. lay

5. state

6. find

7. develop

8. send/transmit/receive

9. have

10. perform

11. watch


В

a. the basis, foundation

b. application, a way
с an operation

d. an advantage over, influence on

e. data, results, access to

f. information, a message, signal

g. an experiment, a TV program
h. a law

i. a decision, mistake, calculation j. equipment, a device, design, system k. requirements


Упражнение5. Составьте, переведите и запомните словосочетания с гла­голом to be.

famous for, of great importance, in general (common) use (usage), of great help, interested in.

Упражнение 6.Заполните таблицы на словообразование.

 

Noun Adjective Opposite Adjective
use thought care • • ♦ thoughtful • • • • • • hopeless

Adjective -— Noun —-~-^——— ................................. Noun, Adjective Noun
hard ... journal ...
tough toughness science ...
useful ... economy ...
• • • uselessness • • • metallurgist
hopeful ... active • • •
... hopelessness • • • humanist
... carefulness chemistry •«•
careless ... ... physicist

Упражнение7. А.Назовите 10—15 ключевых слов и словосочетаний на тему «Advanced materials».

В. Speak about:

A new alloy or advanced composite material you have recently read or heard about, its properties and possible uses.


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