This episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast features two pioneers in their fields.
Margaret Gardel is a biophysicist who is setting up a new National Science Foundation Physics Frontier Center at the University of Chicago. The Center for Living Systems will focus on the physics of adaptation, a new field that looks at how living matter stores, retrieves, and processes information as it adapts to change. Gardel explains how physics-inspired theory and experiments are providing fresh insights into biological systems.
Our second pioneer is Susannah Glickman who has just completed what is probably the first scholarly history of quantum computing. A historian based at Stony Brook University in the US, Glickman explains why there has been so much enthusiasm for quantum computers, despite the fact that that the technology is far from settled. She also talks about the process of writing her history and the generosity of some of the quantum-computing experts who provided her with crucial information about how the field has developed.