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Några utdrag från en intervju med fysikern (även om han verkar röra sig över ämnen på ett spännande sätt) Tom McLeish:

Om hur det ena kan leda till det andra:

It’s not that ideas come in universities, and we apply them in industry. It’s much more nonlinear and complex than that. My own research later in soft matter, for example—my first big bite of a new puzzle—had to do with what happens if you take these long-chain molecules and branch them into tree-like or cone-like structures. After all, we’ve learned that part of their key physics is that two strings can’t cross each other in three dimensions. That was a fundamental interaction, what we’d call a topological interaction. So it became obvious to ask, what happens when one changes the topology of the molecules themselves? And the answer is whole new emergent properties leap out, and that was fun to explore for quite a few years, in collaboration with chemists and engineers and computer scientists and industrial scientists, too. So that gives you an idea of soft matter, and the latest thing that’s happening is, of course, that we are made, life is made, of soft materials. So you’ll now find myself and other soft-matter physicists engaging more and more with biologists and together exploring how the physics of biological cells and biological matter works.

“Science Is a Long Story: A Conversation with Tom McLeish, Part One”, Marginalia, 3 februari 2023

Om betydelsen av sinnen:

Fascinatingly, one really important property, which later became a real key to its physical physics, is that when you stretch rubber, it gets warm. And if you take a stretched rubber at room temperature and you relax it, it cools. So there’s strange thermodynamics going on. It’s called the Gough effect, after a man named John Gough who lived in the Lake District. And, very interestingly, he was blind from birth, so he had to develop his other senses, his non-sighted senses, in his exploration of the science that he loved, and I think it’s really a wonderful thing that he discovered an effect that other people completely missed because it’s a very subtle change of temperature. Anyone can detect it. Just stretch a rubber band on your lower lip, which is sensitive to temperature. This is what he would do. So the Gough effect goes back to the nineteenth century.

“Science Is a Long Story: A Conversation with Tom McLeish, Part One”, Marginalia, 3 februari 2023

Om “hur det får lugna ner sig lite”:

And all that quantum-mechanical stuff had to calm down for a few decades before people went back in the sixties to say, “Well, now we know a bit more mathematics than this. What was this fascinating program on complex fluids that that was going on before we all got excited about quantum mechanics?” That’s slightly tongue in cheek, but only a bit. That’s the potted history.

“Science Is a Long Story: A Conversation with Tom McLeish, Part One”, Marginalia, 3 februari 2023