Quantum mechanics may explain how humans smell


There’s a bit of news today about another way that the microscopic effects of Quantum Physics can have implications and uses on the macroscopic scale:

“Scientists from the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) at University College London have newly analyzed an intriguing 10-year-old theory of smell, finding that the idea may make more sense than once thought.”

In brief – the theory suggests that the nasal receptors are able to discriminate between different aromatic molecules by making use of a quantum tunneling mechanism.

(Quantum tunneling is the same effect that governs radioactive decay – and more importantly – solid state transistors of the sort found in computer chips.)

Read the rest here: Quantum mechanics may explain how humans smell

(Via Physics Org.)

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...