Presenter: Professor Craig Lent, Electrical Engineering
Title: "Quantum biology"
Abstract: It is commonly argued that quantum effects are irrelevant for the warm wet environments found in biological systems. Decoherence occurs on a very rapid time scale. Some exceptions are notable--photosynthesis and possibly olfaction. There is some evidence that animals and humans can distinguish the smell of isotopomers. Can you smell an extra neutron? Modern developments in decoherence theory and matter wave experiments cast these questions in a new light. Is it reasonable to suppose that the actions of complex biological systems (even the brain) could be importantly influenced by quantum mechanics? Of what sort? This brief talk is meant to be provocative.