Qantum physics is weird. It’s a world in which microscopic objects can be in two places at once. Where objects can be made to teleport from one place to another, and where they can mimic one another – even when they are kilometres apart. It’s the fairyland of physics where almost anything seems possible. And some of these strange happenings could be taking place in your brain. Right now.
The idea that the way our brains function is down – at least in part – to quantum processes is not new. But it has often been derided too: how could we be harnessing fragile quantum processes in our brains, say many scientists, when they are so warm, wet and messy? After all, quantum computers need to be cryogenically cooled to near absolute zero (-273°C) to work.
But a theoretical physicist in the US says he has found a ‘loophole’ that would allow quantum processes to take place inside our noggins and not only that, these quantum processes are intrinsically involved in how our brains function – bestowing us with abilities such as memory, and maybe even consciousness itself.
Matthew Fisher, professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has come up with a specific mechanism, made up of a series of quantum and biological cogs. He says that this is what makes us tick. And he’s putting his ideas on the line by drawing up a series of experiments that would prove whether he’s right or wrong,