3 hours ago
Felix Flicker: The Magic of Physics on The Into The Impossible Podcast
Watch the video of this episode here: https://youtu.be/AJJGv-5Rk4I
#CondensedMatter #superconductors #quantummechanics
The tagline for our podcast by Arthur C. Clarke is “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Theoretical physicist Felix Flicker’s imaginative new book The Magick of Physics provides ample service to that notion. In Flicker’s book the magic is in “condensed matter physics”, the quotidian solids, liquids, and gasses that surround us—and the more exotic matter— which form the foundations for our electronic lives, and may hold the keys to a transformed future, from quantum computing to real-life invisibility cloaks.
Flicker finds magic in real physics like creating new particles which never existed before, and making crystals that shoot out light that can cut through metal.
Using metaphors of wizards, infinite libraries, staffs and wands, the book has a compelling narrative that circumvents the need for equations and charts, yet conveys real, practical knowledge.
Felix Flicker is a lecturer at Cardiff University in the School of Physics and Astronomy. He holds an MPhys in physics from St Catherine’s College, Oxford, and received his PhD in theoretical condensed matter physics from the University of Bristol in 2015. He has published in both Nature and Science. Felix has trained in Kung Fu for twenty years and has been an instructor for fifteen years. He is the former British Champion of Shuai Jiao (Chinese wrestling), and a student of Shodo (Japanese calligraphy) and sailing.
Buy The Magick of Physics: Uncovering the Fantastical Phenomena in Everyday Life https://a.co/d/2JtuhM1
00:02:30 Judging the book by its cover
00:07:10 What is the philosopher's stone?
00:09:20 The announcement by Ranga Diass of the development of a room temperature superconductor at the March 2023 meeting of the American Physical Society of 10,000 scientists.
00:15:45 What qualifies as a legit superconducting material? Why is ultra-high pressure an issue?
00:19:00 What is the significance of condensed matter physics and why should a scientist consider pursuing it? The elevator pitch.
00:25:50 The glory of room temperature superconductors
00:28:25 Felix’s journey through martial arts, calligraphy and tea.
00:33:45 Tea and phase transitions
00:41:54 How does physics go from theory to practice?
00:49:00 Why are knots important in condensed matter physics? Topological quantum computation!
00:56:00 Existential questions - What are your choices for the most magical or impressive scientific fact(s)? Phonons!
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