Quantum Aspects of Life

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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 nanomechanics, 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: 9781848162532
  • Publisher: Imperial College Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2009
  • Pages: 442
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Emergence and Complexity 1

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

2 Quantum Mechanics and Emergence Seth Lloyd Lloyd, Seth 19

Pt. 2 Quantum Mechanisms in Biology 31

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

4 Ultrafast Quantum Dynamics in Photosynthesis Alexandra Olaya Castro Castro, Alexandra Olaya Francesca Fassioli Olsen Olsen, Francesca Fassioli Chin Fau Lee Chin, Fau Lee Neil F. Johnson Johnson, Neil F. 51

5 Modeling Quantum Decoherence in Biomolecules Jacques Bothuna Bothuna, Jacques Joel Gilmore Gilmore, Joel Ross H. McKenzie McKenzie, Ross H. 71

Pt. 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 Goel, Anita 97

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

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

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

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

Pt. 4 Artificial Quantum Life 221

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

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

Pt. 5 The Debate 311

15 Dreams versus Reality: Plenary Debate Session on Quantum Computing313

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

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

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

Index 435

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