Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Quantum Mechanics and Biology

There is a fascinating article in this month's Discover magazine about how certain biological processes appear to actually have quantum mechanical components. The most basic and fundamental process analyzed was photosynthesis, the engine of life for almost our entire food chain across the whole planet.

The basic gist of it is that the electrical process within photosynthesis is like 95% efficient, which is ridiculously high, and now it appears that the process might be so efficient because of a form of quantum computer-like process, where every possible quantum tunneling path is "explored" through the probability function of the electrons and then the waveform "collapses" with the most direct route being the one that is actually taken.

Other biological processes explored for possible quantum components include conciousness, green teas anti-oxidant properties, and the sense of smell. I think some of that is more at the "interesting hypothesis" stage, but that'd be with a heavy emphasis on "interesting." Still, cool.

1 comment:

Sweating Through fog said...

Thanks for posting this- yes it is very interesting.