Quantum fluctuations and life

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


There have been many claims that quantum mechanics plays a key role in the origin and/or operation of biological organisms, beyond merely providing the basis for the shapes and sizes of biological molecules and their chemical affinities. These range from Schrödinger's suggestion that quantum fluctuations produce mutations, to Hameroff and Penrose's conjecture that quantum coherence in microtubules is linked to consciousness. I review some of these claims in this paper, and discuss the serious problem of decoherence. I advance some further conjectures about quantum information processing in bio-systems. Some possible experiments are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsP. Heszler, D. Abbott, J.R. Gea-Banacloche, P.R. Hemmer
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventFluctuations and Noise in Photonics and Quantum Optics II - Maspalomas
Duration: May 26 2004May 28 2004


OtherFluctuations and Noise in Photonics and Quantum Optics II


  • Biophysics
  • Decoherence
  • Molecular biology
  • Quantum computing
  • Quantum information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantum fluctuations and life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this