Sunday, May 31, 2009

Organic quantum computation

First Evidence of Entanglement in Photosynthesis

Physicists are fascinated with entanglement, the strange quantum phenomenon in which distinct objects share the same existence, regardless of the distance between them. But in their quest to study and exploit entanglement for information processing, physicists have found it fragile and easily destroyed. This fragility seems to severely limits how entanglement might ever be used.

But a new, more robust face of entanglement is beginning to emerge from other types of experiment. For example, physicists have recently found the signature of entanglement in the thermal states of bulk materials at low temperatures. This has huge implications for biological systems: if entanglement is more robust than we thought, what role might it play in living things?

Now we're beginning to find out. poses a fascinating question:

Does this support the Hameroff/Penrose idea of quantum computation in brain microtubules as a model of consciousness?

In short, do our brains utilize Einstein's "spooky action at a distance"? If so, what might this mean for contemporary definitions of consciousness?

Author/mathematician Rudy Rucker addresses some of the implications here.

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1 comment:

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