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Worth its weight in gold稀土为何如此“珍稀”?它的作用,不止让你的手机振动

来源:融媒体采编平台
作者:张语迎
日期:2023-12-11
【导读】稀土,不止是让你的手机振动

图源:图虫创意

On Nov 3, China’s State Council stressed the high-quality development of the rare earth industry at a key meeting. The meeting called for efforts to explore better management of rare earth, seeing it as a critical strategic resource. So, what makes rare earth so important?

国务院总理李强11月3日主持召开国务院常务会议,研究推动稀土产业高质量发展有关工作。会议指出,稀土是战略性矿产资源,要统筹稀土资源勘探、开发利用与规范管理。那么,为什么稀土资源如此重要?
 

In fact, rare earths are neither rare nor earths. They include 17 nearly identical, silvery-white, heavy metals. While they are relatively plentiful in Earth’s crust (地壳) – even more abundant (丰富的) than copper (铜) – their production proves challenging. Rare earths tend to be spread out in their ores (矿石). So, getting purified (纯的) rare earth metals requires processing enormous amounts of raw ore at great expense, thus making it “rare”.

其实,稀土资源不是指“珍贵的土壤”。稀土是 17 种十分相似的银白色重金属元素的总称。虽然它们在地壳中广为存在,甚至比铜含量还丰富,但将它们运用于生产生活并不容易。稀土以稀土矿的形态存在。所以,想要采获高纯度稀土,需要大规模、高成本开矿,这也是稀土之所以“稀有”的原因。
 

You might think you would only come across rare earths in your chemistry textbook, but they are part of your daily life. A typical example is their contributions to smartphones. Neodymium (钕), for example, plays a crucial role in making the tiny yet powerful magnets (磁铁) responsible for the vibrations (振动) in your phone. Meanwhile, elements like terbium (铽) are responsible for producing the bright and pretty colors that grace your screen.

你或许认为只在化学书中与稀土碰过面,但它们其实就在你的日常生活中。一个典型的例子是其在手机中的使用。比如,钕,对于手机中微小但强力的振动磁铁起到至关重要的作用。再比如,像铽这样的元素就用于手机屏幕的光亮和色彩。
 

Known as the “vitamins of modern industry”, the rare earth resource has been used in many industries. In national defense and security, they are used to make things like precision-guided missiles (精确制导导弹), night vision goggles (夜视镜), and lightweight armor (盔甲). For example, each US F-35 fighter jet contains about 417 kilograms of rare earths, reported The Washington Post. Rare earths are also key to making semiconductors (半导体). Being great at controlling conductivity, they can help make semiconductors smaller and more efficient.

号称“现代工业的维生素”,稀土资源被广泛应用于工业生产。在国家防御安全系统,它们被应用于生产精确制导导弹,夜视镜,轻装盔甲等设备。比如,据《华盛顿邮报》报道,一架F35战机要用417公斤稀土。稀土也是生产半导体的关键。具有强控制传导性,它们可以用来生产更小但更高效的半导体。
 

Due to their usefulness, rare earth stands as an essential strategic resource for every nation. China holds an absolute advantage in this area. Having over one-third of the global rare earth reserves, China uses cutting-edge techniques for rare earth purification. Reuters reported that in 2022, China accounted for 70 percent of the world’s rare earth mine production.

因为非常有用,稀土资源对各国来说都是关键的战略资源。中国拥有较为丰富的稀土资源。拥有约占世界总储量三分之一的稀土资源,中国利用前沿技术开采、提纯稀土。据路透社报道,2022年,中国稀土产量就在全球稀土产量中占比70%。
 

During his 1992 southern tour, Deng Xiaoping recognized the significance of these elements, saying, “The Middle East has oil, and China has rare earths.” With strong determination, China aims to safeguard this precious resource and make the best of it to power its ongoing development.

1992年邓小平在南巡时就曾提到:“中东有石油,中国有稀土……一定要把稀土的事情办好。”中国有决心保护好珍贵的稀土资源,并在未来的发展中充分利用。

 

以上文章内容选自《21世纪英文报》高二927期

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