Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Quantum World


I just read an interesting article from the June 2011 issue of Scientific American entitled Living In A Quantum World written by Vlatko Vedral which explains that the popular misconception that Quantum Mechanics applies only to microscopic systems is quite wrong. As an illustration of the implications of quantum mechanics on the micro world he describes an experiment in which the properties (i.e. location)of an atom's electron are entangled with the left or right motion of the atom so that, since the electron is in a superposition (more than one place at once), the atom is moving left and right at the same time. Then expanding the implications to the macro world he says: "Other experiments scale up this basic idea, so that huge numbers of atoms become entangled and enter states that classic physics would deem impossible. And if solids can be entangled even when they are large and warm, it takes only a small leap of imagination to ask whether the same might be true of a very special kind of large warm system: life"
Perhaps I was too hasty in dismissing the possibility of a role for quantum mechanics in the realization of a non-deterministic aspect to human consciousness.

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