This episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast features an interview with Jason Smith, who leads the photonic nanomaterials group at the University of Oxford, UK, and is the founder and director of the spin-out Oxford HighQ. Smith talks about some of the practical challenges faced by those creating quantum technologies and how having a solid background in materials science can be an asset in the field. He also calls for greater communication between the quantum technologists and materials scientists. Indeed, Smith facilitates this communication as editor-in-chief of the journal Materials for Quantum Technology, which he also talks about.
Many places around the world have been much quieter as people stayed at home during COVID-19 lockdowns. This relative silence was a boon to Jordi Diaz of Geosciences Barcelona, who had installed a network of seismic detectors in and around the city prior to the pandemic. Diaz chats about what he learned from listening in on a quiet Barcelona and explains how seismic sensors can provide important information about human activity.