Abigail Klopper is a Senior Editor at Nature Physics. She previously worked at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany, where she pursued theoretical research in aspects of soft-matter and biological physics.
What made you want to be a physicist?
A love of maths and a distinct (if pretentious) feeling that it was the only truly relevant thing to learn about the Universe. My biggest regret as a nineteen year old was that I wasn’t allowed to double up physics with philosophy. I’d started as a double major in electronic engineering — an insurance policy of sorts — and evidently the faculty thought that that would have made a ridiculous triple.
If you weren’t a physicist, what would you like to be?
I come from a family of architects — physics is my rebellion — so I would likely be designing houses had I not gone down this road.
What would be your (physics) superpower?
Time dilation please. I could definitely use a way to squeeze some extra hours out of the day.
What Sci-Fi gadget / technology would you most like to have / see come true?
Anything that could get me back home to the beach in Australia in the time it takes to traverse London.
What is your non-scientifically accurate guilty pleasure?
I do have quite the penchant for vampires — the sassy backtalking type found in Buffy and True Blood over the sappy Twilight variety. I’m fairly sure we’re yet to find evidence of fanged humanoids in our midst.
What would your dream conference be like?
The Physics of Living Matter symposium run by the Universities of Cambridge and Marseille is pretty much my ideal conference. It’s two full days in a room with physicists and biologists who are all really keen to convey their research in a way that meets everyone in the middle. The breadth of topics covered is impressive, and the quality of the students’ presentations is always rather humbling.