Clever aerodynamics makes owls silent hunters, why 2025 should be the International Year of Quantum Science and Technology


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Owls mostly hunt at night when background noise levels can be low and potential prey have a better chance of hearing danger approaching. As a result, the birds have evolved structures on their wings that greatly reduce the noise owls make while flying. In this episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast, the engineer and owl expert Justin Jaworski talks about the aerodynamics of these wonderful creatures.

Quantum science and technology is a hot topic – and not just in the physics community, because new companies and investors are driving a boom in the nascent quantum industry. Now, a group of physicists is calling for the United Nations to declare 2025 the International Year of Quantum Science and Technology. Joe Niemela of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste is a leading proponent and makes the case for a quantum year on the podcast.

Also in this episode, we chat about a new multiscale X-ray imaging technique that has shed light on how COVID-19 affects the lungs and about a quantum effect called Pauli blocking, which has been seen in ultracold gases 30 years after it was first predicted.

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