Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Direct evidence for a mesoscale quantum coherence in living matter

This posting was inspired by Sabine Hossenfelder's video (see this) telling about the recently observed evidence for quantum coherence in mesoscales by Babcock et al (see this).

Experimental evidence for the mesoscale quantum coherence of living matter

The abstract to the article of Babcock et al summarizes the findings.

Networks of tryptophan (Trp) an aromatic amino acid with strong fluorescence response are ubiquitous in biological systems, forming diverse architectures in transmembrane proteins, cytoskeletal filaments, sub-neuronal elements, photoreceptor complexes, virion capsids, and other cellular structures.
We analyze the cooperative effects induced by ultraviolet (UV) excitation of several biologically relevant Trp mega-networks, thus giving insights into novel mechanisms for cellular signaling and control.
Our theoretical analysis in the single-excitation manifold predicts the formation of strongly superradiant states due to collective interactions among organized arrangements of up to > 105 Trp UV-excited transition dipoles in microtubule (MT) architectures, which leads to an enhancement of the fluorescence quantum yield (QY) that is confirmed by our experiments.
We demonstrate the observed consequences of this superradiant behavior in the fluorescence QY for hierarchically organized tubulin structures, which increases in different geometric regimes at thermal equilibrium before saturation, highlighting the effect s persistence in the presence of disorder.
Our work thus showcases the many orders of magnitude across which the brightest (hundreds of femtoseconds) and darkest (tens of seconds) states can coexist in these Trp lattices.

From the article it is clear that the observed phenomenon is expected to be very common and not only related to MTs. From Wikipedia one learns that tryptophan is an amino acid needed for normal growth in infants and for the production and maintenance of the body's proteins, muscles, enzymes, and neurotransmitters. Trp is an essential amino acid, which means that the body cannot produce it, so one must get it from the diet.

Tryptophan (Trp) is important throughout biology and forms lattice-like structures. From the article I learned that Trp plays an essential role in terms of communications. There is a connection between Trp and biophotons as well. Trp's response to UV radiation is particularly strong and also to radiation up to red wavelengths.

What is studied is the UV excitation of the Trp network in the case of MTs. The total number of Trp molecules involved varies up to 105. The scales studied are mesoscales: from the scale of a cell down to the scales of molecular machines. The wavelengths at which the response has been studied start at about 300 nm (4.1 eV, UV) and extend to 800 nm (1.55 eV, red light) and are significantly longer than tubulin's scale of 10 nm. This indicates that a network of this size scale is being activated. The range of time scales for the radiant states spans an enormous range.

UV excitation generates a superradiance meaning that the fluorescence is much more intense than it would be if the Trps were not a quantum-coherent system. The naive view is that the response is proportional to N2 rather than N, where N is the number N of Trp molecules. Super-radiance is possible even in thermal equilibrium, which does not fit the assumptions of standard quantum theory and suggests that quantum coherence does not take place at the level of the ordinary biomatter.

In standard quantum physics, the origin of the mesoscale coherence is difficult to understand. Quantum coherence would be the natural explanation but the value of Planck constant is far too small and so are the quantum coherence lengths. The authors predict superradiance, but it is not clear what assumptions are involved. Is quantum coherence postulated or derived (very likely not).

TGD based interpretation

I have considered MTs in several articles (see for instance this, this and this).

In TGD, the obvious interpretation would be that the UV stimulus induces a sensory input communicated to the magnetic body of the Trp network, analogous to the EEG, which in turn produces superradiance as a "motor" reaction. The idea about MT as a quantum antenna is one of the oldest ideas of TGD inspired quantum biology (see this). The communication would be based on dark photons involved also with the communications of cell membrane to the MB of the brain and with DNA to its MB.

The Trp network could correspond to some kind of lattice structure or be associated with such a structure at the magnetic body of the system. The notion of bioharmony (see this and this) leads to a model of these communications based on the universal realization of the genetic code in terms of icosa tetrahedral tessellation of hyperbolic space H3.

The icosa tetrahedral tessellation (see this and this) is completely unique in that it has tetrahedrons, octahedrons, and icosahedrons as basic objects: usually only one platonic solid is possible. This tessellation predicts correctly the basic numbers of the genetic code and I have proposed that it could provide a realization of a universal genetic code not limited to mere biosystems. Could the cells of the Trp lattice correspond to the basic units of such a tessellation?

The work of Bandyopadhyay et al (see for instance this) gives support for the hypothesis that there is hierarchy of frequency scales coming as powers of 103 (10 octaves for hearing in the case of humans) ranging from 1 Hz (cyclotron frequency of DNA) and extending to UV.

This hierarchy could correspond to a hierarchy of magnetic bodies. Gravitational magnetic bodies assignable to astrophysical objects (see this and this) and electric field bodies to systems with large scale electric fields (see this see this) can be considered. They possess a very large value of the gravitational/electric Planck constant giving rise to a long length scale quantum coherence.

Gravitational magnetic bodies have a cyclotron energy spectrum, which by Equivalence principle is independent of the mass of the charged particle. The discrete spectrum for the strengths of the endogenous magnetic field postulated by Blackman and identified as the non-Maxwellian monopole flux tube part of the magnetic field having minimal value of 2BE/5=.2 Gauss would realize 12-note spectrum for the bioharmony. The spectrum of Josephson energies assignable to cell membrane is independent of heff (see this).

Both frequency spectra are inversely proportional to the mass of the charged particle, which makes them ideal for communication between ordinary biomatter and dark matter. Frequency modulated signals from say cell membrane to the magnetic body and coding the sensory input would propagate as dark Josephson photons to the magnetic body and generate a sequence of resonance pulses as a reaction, which in turn can induce nerve pulses or something analogous to them in the ordinary biomatter. In a rough sense, this would be a transformation of analog to digital.

Authors also propose that superradiance could involve a shielding effect, analogous to what happens in the Earth's magnetic field and might be based on a similar mechanism.

  1. In the standard description, the Earth's magnetic field catches the incoming cosmic rays, such as UV photons, to the field lines, and thus prevents the arrival of the radiation to the surface of Earth. Van del Allen radiation belts are of special importance.
  2. In the TGD description, a considerable fraction of incoming high energy photons and maybe also other higher energy particles would be transformed to their dark variants at the magnetic monopole flux tubes of the MB of the Earth with a field strength estimated to be Bend=2BE/5, where BE=.5 Gauss is the nominal value of the Earth's magnetic field. This mechanism would transform the high energy photons to low energy dark photons with much longer wavelengths which have very weak interactions with the ordinary biomatter. These in turn would be radiated away as ordinary photons and in this way become neutralized. The scaling factor for the wavelength would be ℏgr/h if the gravitational MB of the Earth is involved.

    Something similar would take place in biological systems at cellular level. The UV photons would be transformed to dark photons with much longer wavelengths and radiated away as ordinary photons.

Can one identify a range of biological scales perhaps labelled by the values of ℏeff/ℏ coming as powers of 103.
  1. The findings of Cyril Smith related to the phenomenon of water memory suggest that in living matter a scaling of photon frequency can take place with a scaling factor 2× 1011 or is inverse. In the TGD framework, I christened this mechanism as "scaling law of homeopathy" (sounds suicidal in the ears of a mainstream colleague, see this). For a UV radiation with λ=300 nm frequency f=1.24× 1015 Hz this would mean scaling down of frequency to 6.8 kHz and scaling up of wavelength to .4× 105.
  2. The kHz scale is one of the preferred scales suggested by the work of Bandyopadhyay, suggesting also a hierarchy of the scaling factors 2× 1011-3x, x=-1,0,2,... Could there exist a hierarchy of biological scales differing by powers of 103? Could these scaling factors correspond to various values of heff/h0?
  3. In the TGD inspired quantum biology, the Earth's gravitational magnetic body plays a key role. Could one assign the length scale with x=-1 with the Earth's gravitational magnetic body having gravitational Planck constant equal to ℏgr= GMEm/β0, β0=v0/c≈ 1, where ME is the mass of Earth? By the Equivalence Principle, the gravitational Compton length is independent of mass m of the particle and for Earth is about .5 cm, the size scale of a snowflake.
  4. The scaling hierarchy in powers of 103 would predict besides .5 cm, the length scale 5 μm of cell nucleus, the length scale 5 nm characterizing the thickness of the lipid layer of cell membrane and of the DNA double strand, and the scale 5 × 10-12 m to be compared with the Compton length 2.4 × 10-12 m of electron. The scaling hierarchy would be naturally associated with the electron naturally. The wavelength scale corresponding to x=-2 is λ=.4× 108 m, which is equal to the circumference of Earth 2π RE≈ .4× 108 m defining the lowest Schumann resonance frequency!
  5. If β0=v0/c ≤ 1 is true, the scales with x=0,1,... cannot correspond to the values ℏgr for β0 coming as positive powers of 103 and its difficult to imagine hierarchy of masses as powers of 103.

    Could the electric Planck constants as counterparts of gravitational Planck constants (see this, and this) defined as ℏem= Qe20, where Q is the charge of a system analogous to the electrode of a capacitor, give these scales as electric Compton length for electron? This would conform with the fact that cell interior and DNA are negatively charged.

There are good reasons to believe that these findings will be noticed by the people fighting with the problems related to quantum computers caused by the extreme fragility of quantum coherence in standard quantum theory. One might even hope that the basic assumptions of quantum theory could be questioned. The TGD based generalization of quantum theory could pave the way for building quantum computers and also raises the question whether ordinary computers could become in some sense living systems under suitable conditions (see this, this, and this). S ee also this about the recently observed evidence for quantum coherence in mesoscales by Babcock et al that motivated these considerations.

See the article New Results about Microtubules as Quantum Systems or the chapter with the same title.

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

For the lists of articles (most of them published in journals founded by Huping Hu) and books about TGD see this.

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