Quantum 'Weirdness' Used by Plants, Animals
CBC News (Canada)
Bird navigation, plant photosynthesis and the human sense of smell all represent ways living things appear to exploit the oddities of quantum physics, scientists are finding.
Quantum mechanics is the branch of physics dealing with the strange behaviour of very tiny things like elementary particles and atoms, and is extremely different from the physics that humans experience every day.
"Down at that level, everything is pretty darn weird," Seth Lloyd said before giving a lecture about quantum aspects of biology Wednesday evening in Waterloo, Ont.
"Electrons can be in two places in once, or five places at once, or a thousand places at once. And then there are these funky quantum effects like 'entanglement,' where two different systems can have more information about each other than they have any right to have under classical mechanics," said Lloyd, a professor of quantum mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.