Fw: [Think-Aboutit] DISCOVER MAGAZINE: DO QUATUM MECHANICS CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS? IS IT RESPONSIBLE FOR CONSCIOUSNESS, TOO?
Jan 21, 2009 03:53 PM
by Cass Silva
--- On Thu, 22/1/09, Lynda Brasier <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
From: Lynda Brasier <email@example.com>
Subject: [Think-Aboutit] DISCOVER MAGAZINE: DO QUATUM MECHANICS CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS? IS IT RESPONSIBLE FOR CONSCIOUSNESS, TOO?
To: "All my contacts" <Susoni@sbcglobal.net>
Received: Thursday, 22 January, 2009, 8:09 AM
DISCOVER MAGAZINE: DO QUATUM MECHANICS CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS? IS IT RESPONSIBLE FOR CONSCIOUSNESS, TOO?
Posted By: Susoni
Date: Wednesday, 21 January 2009, 4:01 p.m.
.. or are you controlling Quantum fluctuations?
This is a compelling article on how our thoughts could move particles within the quantum world. Science is catching up. Finally!
Energy moves in all directions until it has to narrow and make a 'choice' withinÂ the 3D material world.
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Is Quantum Mechanics Controlling Your Thoughts?
Science's weirdest realm may be responsible for photosynthesis, our sense of smell, and even consciousness itself.
by Mark Anderson
On the face of things, quantum mechanics and the biological sciences do not mix.
Quantum mechanics holds that any given particle has a chance of being in a whole range of locations and, in a sense, occupies all those places at once. Physicists describe quantum reality in an equation they call the wave function, which reflects all the potential ways a system can evolve. Until a scientist measures the system, a particle exists in its multitude of locations. But at the time of measurement, the particle has to âchooseâ just a single spot. At that point, quantum physicists say, probability narrows to a single outcome and the wave function âcollapses,â sending ripples of certainty through space-time. Imposing certainty on one particle could alter the characteristics of any others it has been connected with, even if those particles are now light-years away. (This process of influence at a distance is what physicists call entanglement. ) As in a game of dominoes, alteration of one particle affects the next one, and so on.
The implications of all this are mind-bending. In the macro world, a ball never spontaneously shoots itself over a wall. In the quantum world, though, an electron in one biomolecule might hop to a second biomolecule, even though classical laws of physics hold that the electrons are too tightly bound to leave. The phenomenon of hopping across seemingly forbidden gaps is called quantum tunneling.
>From tunneling to entanglement, the special properties of the quantum realm allow events to unfold at speeds and efficiencies that would be unachievable with classical physics alone. Could quantum mechanisms be driving some of the most elegant and inexplicable processes of life?
Unlike electric power lines, which lose as much as 20 percent of energy in transmission, these bacteria transmit energy at a staggering efficiency rate of 95 percent or better.
The secret, Fleming and his colleagues found, is quantum physics.
To unearth the bacteriaâs inner workings, the researchers zapped the connective proteins with multiple ultrafast laser pulses. Over a span of femtoÂseconds, they followed the light energy through the scaffolding to the cellular reaction centers where energy conversion takes place.
Then came the revelation: Instead of haphazardly moving from one connective channel to the next, as might be seen in classical physics, energy traveled in several directions at the same time. The researchers theorized that only when the energy had reached the end of the series of connections could an efficient pathway retroactively be found. At that point, the quantum process collapsed, and the electronsâ energy followed that single, most effective path.
QUANTUM TO THE CORE
Stuart Hameroff, an anesthesiologist and director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, argues that the highest function of lifeâconsciousnessâ is likely a quantum phenomenon too. This is illustrated, he says, through anesthetics. The brain of a patient under anesthesia continues to operate actively, but without a conscious mind at work. What enables anesthetics such as xenon or isoflurane gas to switch off the conscious mind?
Hameroff speculates that anesthetics âinterrupt a delicate quantum processâ within the neurons of the brain. Each neuron contains hundreds of long, cylindrical protein structures, called microtubules, that serve as scaffolding. Anesthetics, Hameroff says, dissolve inside tiny oily regions of the microtubules, affecting how some electrons inside these regions behave.
He speculates that the action unfolds like this: When certain key electrons are in one âplace,â call it to the âleft,â part of the microtubule is squashed; when the electrons fall to the âright,â the section is elongated. But the laws of quantum mechanics allow for electrons to be both âleftâ and ârightâ at the same time, and thus for the microÂtubules to be both elongated and squashed at once. Each section of the constantly shifting system has an impact on other sections, potentially via quantum entanglement, leading to a dynamic quantum-mechanical dance.
It is in this faster-than- light subatomic communication, Hameroff says, that consciousness is born. Anesthetics get in the way of the dancing electrons and stop the gyration at its quantum-mechanical core; that is how they are able to switch consciousness off.
It's a long article, these are just interesting snips. To read the rest go to the Link Below:
DISCOVER MAGAZINE - QUANTUM MECHANICS
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