Quantum Aspects of Life

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Overview

This book presents the hotly debated question of whether quantum mechanics plays a non-trivial role in biology. In a timely way, it sets out a distinct quantum biology agenda. The burgeoning fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology, quantum technology, and quantum information processing are now strongly converging. The acronym BINS, for Bio-Info-Nano-Systems, has been coined to describe the synergetic interface of these several disciplines. The living cell is an information replicating and processing system that is replete with naturally-evolved nanomachines, which at some level require a quantum mechanical description. As quantum engineering and nanotechnology meet, increasing use will be made of biological structures, or hybrids of biological and fabricated systems, for producing novel devices for information storage and processing, and other tasks. An understanding of these systems at a quantum mechanical level will be indispensable.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848162679
  • Publisher: Imperial College Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2008
  • Pages: 442
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Part 1 Emergence and Complexity 1

1 A Quantum Origin of Life? Paul C. W. Davies 3

1.1 Chemistry and Information 5

1.2 Q-life 6

1.3 The Problem of Decoherence 9

1.4 Life as the "Solution" of a Quantum Search Algorithm 11

1.5 Quantum Choreography 13

References 16

2 Quantum Mechanics and Emergence Seth Lloyd 19

2.1 Bits 20

2.2 Coin Flips 20

2.3 The Computational Universe 22

2.4 Generating Complexity 25

2.5 A Human Perspective 28

2.6 A Quantum Perspective 29

References 29

Part 2 Quantum Mechanisms in Biology 31

3 Quantum Coherence and the Search for the First Replicator Jim Al-Khalili Johnjoe McFadden 33

3.1 When did Life Start? 33

3.2 Where did Life Start? 34

3.3 Where did the Precursors Come From? 35

3.4 What was the Nature of the First Self-replicator? 36

3.5 The RNA World Hypothesis 37

3.6 A Quantum Mechanical Origin of Life 39

3.6.1 The dynamic combinatorial library 40

3.6.2 The two-potential model 42

3.6.3 Decoherence 44

3.6.4 Replication as measurement 44

3.6.5 Avoiding decoherence 45

3.7 Summary 47

References 47

4 Ultrafast Quantum Dynamics in Photosynthesis Alexandra Olaya Castro Francesca Fassioli Olsen Chiu Fan Lee Neil F. Johnson 51

4.1 Introduction 51

4.2 A Coherent Photosynthetic Unit (CPSU) 53

4.3 Toy Model: Interacting Qubits with a Spin-star Configuration 58

4.4 A More Detailed Model: Photosynthetic Unit of Purple Bacteria 63

4.5 Experimental Considerations 65

4.6 Outlook 66

References 67

5 Modelling Quantum Decoherence in Biomolecules Jacques Bothma Joel Gilmore Ross H. McKenzie 71

5.1 Introduction 71

5.2 Time and Energy Scales73

5.3 Models for Quantum Baths and Decoherence 75

5.3.1 The spin-boson model 76

5.3.2 Caldeira-Leggett Hamiltonian 78

5.3.3 The spectral density 79

5.4 The Spectral Density for the Different Continuum Models of the Environment 80

5.5 Obtaining the Spectral Density from Experimental Data 82

5.6 Analytical Solution for the Time Evolution of the Density Matrix 86

5.7 Nuclear Quantum Tunnelling in Enzymes and the Crossover Temperature 87

5.8 Summary 90

References 91

Part 3 The Biological Evidence 95

6 Molecular Evolution: A Role for Quantum Mechanics in the Dynamics of Molecular Machines that Read and Write DNA Anita Goel 97

6.1 Introduction 97

6.2 Background 98

6.3 Approach 100

6.3.1 The information processing power of a molecular motor 102

6.3.2 Estimation of decoherence times of the motor-DNA complex 103

6.3.3 Implications and discussion 105

References 106

7 Memory Depends on the Cytoskeleton, but is it Quantum? Andreas Mershin Dimitri V. Nanopoulos 109

7.1 Introduction 109

7.2 Motivation behind Connecting Quantum Physics to the Brain 111

7.3 Three Scales of Testing for Quantum Phenomena in Consciousness 113

7.4 Testing the QCI at the 10 nm-10 [mu]m Scale 115

7.5 Testing for Quantum Effects in Biological Matter Amplified from the 0.1 nm to the 10 nm Scale and Beyond 117

7.6 Summary and Conclusions 120

7.7 Outlook 121

References 121

8 Quantum Metabolism and Allometric Scaling Relations in Biology Lloyd Demetrius 127

8.1 Introduction 127

8.2 Quantum Metabolism: Historical Development 131

8.2.1 Quantization of radiation oscillators 131

8.2.2 Quantization of material oscillators 132

8.2.3 Quantization of molecular oscillators 133

8.2.4 Material versus molecular oscillators 135

8.3 Metabolic Energy and Cycle Time 136

8.3.1 The mean energy 137

8.3.2 The total metabolic energy 138

8.4 The Scaling Relations 140

8.4.1 Metabolic rate and cell size 140

8.4.2 Metabolic rate and body mass 140

8.5 Empirical Considerations 141

8.5.1 Scaling exponents 142

8.5.2 The proportionality constant 144

References 144

9 Spectroscopy of the Genetic Code Jim D. Bashford Peter D. Jarvis 147

9.1 Background: Systematics of the Genetic Code 147

9.1.1 RNA translation 149

9.1.2 The nature of the code 151

9.1.3 Information processing and the code 154

9.2 Symmetries and Supersymmetries in the Genetic Code 156

9.2.1 sl(6/1) model: UA+S scheme 158

9.2.2 sl(6/1) model: 3CH scheme 161

9.2.3 Dynamical symmetry breaking and third base wobble 164

9.3 Visualizing the Genetic Code 168

9.4 Quantum Aspects of Codon Recognition 174

9.4.1 N(34) conformational symmetry 175

9.4.2 Dynamical symmetry breaking and third base wobble 177

9.5 Conclusions 180

References 181

10 Towards Understanding the Origin of Genetic Languages Apoorva D. Patel 187

10.1 The Meaning of It All 187

10.2 Lessons of Evolution 190

10.3 Genetic Languages 193

10.4 Understanding Proteins 195

10.5 Understanding DNA 201

10.6 What Preceded the Optimal Languages? 204

10.7 Quantum Role? 211

10.8 Outlook 215

References 217

Part 4 Artificial Quantum Life 221

11 Can Arbitrary Quantum Systems Undergo Self-replication? Arun K. Pati Samuel L. Braunstein 223

11.1 Introduction 223

11.2 Formalizing the Self-replicating Machine 225

11.3 Proof of No-self-replication 226

11.4 Discussion 227

11.5 Conclusion 228

References 229

12 A Semi-quantum Version of the Game of Life Adrian P. Flitney Derek Abbott 233

12.1 Background and Motivation 233

12.1.1 Classical cellular automata 233

12.1.2 Conway's game of life 234

12.1.3 Quantum cellular automata 237

12.2 Semi-quantum Life 238

12.2.1 The idea 238

12.2.2 A first model 239

12.2.3 A semi-quantum model 242

12.2.4 Discussion 244

12.3 Summary 247

References 248

13 Evolutionary Stability in Quantum Games Azhar Iqbal Taksu Cheon 251

13.1 Evolutionary Game Theory and Evolutionary Stability 253

13.1.1 Population setting of evolutionary game theory 256

13.2 Quantum Games 256

13.3 Evolutionary Stability in Quantum Games 261

13.3.1 Evolutionary stability in EWL scheme 263

13.3.2 Evolutionary stability in MW quantization scheme 268

13.4 Concluding Remarks 286

References 288

14 Quantum Transmemetic Intelligence Edward W. Piotrowski Jan Sladkowski 291

14.1 Introduction 291

14.2 A Quantum Model of Free Will 294

14.3 Quantum Acquisition of Knowledge 298

14.4 Thinking as a Quantum Algorithm 300

14.5 Counterfactual Measurement as a Model of Intuition 301

14.6 Quantum Modification of Freud's Model of Consciousness 304

14.7 Conclusion 306

References 307

Part 5 The Debate 311

15 Dreams versus Reality: Plenary Debate Session on Quantum Computing 313

16 Plenary Debate: Quantum Effects in Biology: Trivial or Not? 349

17 Nontrivial Quantum Effects in Biology: A Skeptical Physicists' View Howard Wiseman Jens Eisert 381

17.1 Introduction 381

17.2 A Quantum Life Principle 382

17.2.1 A quantum chemistry principle? 382

17.2.2 The anthropic principle 384

17.3 Quantum Computing in the Brain 385

17.3.1 Nature did everything first? 385

17.3.2 Decoherence as the make or break issue 386

17.3.3 Quantum error correction 387

17.3.4 Uselessness of quantum algorithms for organisms 389

17.4 Quantum Computing in Genetics 390

17.4.1 Quantum search 390

17.4.2 Teleological aspects and the fast-track to life 392

17.5 Quantum Consciousness 392

17.5.1 Computability and free will 392

17.5.2 Time scales 394

17.6 Quantum Free Will 395

17.6.1 Predictability and free will 395

17.6.2 Determinism and free will 396

References 398

18 That's Life!-The Geometry of [pi] Electron Clouds Stuart Hameroff 403

18.1 What is Life? 403

18.2 Protoplasm: Water, Gels and Solid Non-polar Regions 405

18.3 Van der Waals Forces 407

18.4 Kekule's Dream and [pi] Electron Resonance 409

18.5 Proteins-The Engines of Life 413

18.6 Anesthesia and Consciousness 418

18.7 Cytoskeletal Geometry: Microtubules, Cilia and Flagella 419

18.8 Decoherence 423

18.9 Conclusion 425

References 427

Appendix 1 Quantum Computing in DNA [pi] Electron Stacks 430

Appendix 2 Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR Model 432

Index 435

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