Vote for Anne Meeussen as New Scientist Science Talent
Leiden physicist Anne Meeussen has been nominated for the title of New Scientist Science Talent. She will be up against 14 young scientists from other Dutch and Belgian universities. The polls are already open!
Meeussen will obtain her PhD from Leiden University at the end of May for a thesis on the topic of ‘soft physics’. She is researching how the behaviour of materials is caused by their internal architecture (‘topology’). She sometimes purposely builds in an error, a ‘topological imperfection’, to see what effect this will have. In the long term this could lead to interesting applications, from better shoe soles to protheses and soft robots.
‘Topology helps us figure out how different parts of an object are connected to each other,’ Meeussen writes on her personal website. ‘It’s precisely their architecture that sets how structural materials act: why the Eiffel tower doesn’t fall over, why bones don’t spontaneously break, and why a table is the perfect place to put your coffee cup.’
Anne Meeussen on her nomination (from America)
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Meeussen is now working as a postdoc at Harvard University in the United States. But her talent didn’t go unnoticed before her PhD research: she graduated cum laude for both her bachelor’s in physics and master’s in theoretical physics.