Does quantum mechanics play a non-trivial role in life?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

101 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There have been many claims that quantum mechanics plays a key role in the origin and/or operation of biological organisms, beyond merely providing the basis for the shapes and sizes of biological molecules and their chemical affinities. These range from Schrödinger's suggestion that quantum fluctuations produce mutations, to Hameroff and Penrose's conjecture that quantum coherence in microtubules is linked to consciousness. I review some of these claims in this paper, and discuss the serious problem of decoherence. I advance some further conjectures about quantum information processing in bio-systems. Some possible experiments are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalBioSystems
Volume78
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes

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quantum mechanics
information processing
Quantum theory
consciousness
Mechanics
Consciousness
Automatic Data Processing
Microtubules
Quantum Mechanics
microtubules
mutation
Quantum Information Processing
Mutation
Molecules
Quantum Fluctuations
Decoherence
organisms
Affine transformation
experiment

Keywords

  • Biophysics
  • Decoherence
  • Molecular biology
  • Quantum computing
  • Quantum information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biotechnology
  • Drug Discovery

Cite this

Does quantum mechanics play a non-trivial role in life? / Davies, Paul.

In: BioSystems, Vol. 78, No. 1-3, 12.2004, p. 69-79.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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