Is life quantum mechanical?
18 April 2013 | IET London: Savoy Place
About the lecture
Over the past few years it has emerged that plants use a form of quantum computing to calculate how best to direct energy through their photosynthetic apparatus. Scientists have also discovered that birds, insects and other animals appear to use entanglement (what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance” to detect the earth’s magnetic field).
And there is solid evidence that enzymes, those metabolic workhorses that drive much of the action in our cells, use the process known as quantum tunnelling to accelerate chemical reactions. It may even have a say in mutations in DNA.
This lecture introduces the speculative yet exciting new field of Quantum Biology”. Jim Al-Khalili is one of a growing number of physicists struggling to understand how fragile quantum mechanical phenomena previously thought to be confined to highly rarefied laboratory systems at temperatures close to absolute zero, manage to survive in the wet, warm biological world.