Lectures and seminars What is life? Is life Quantum Mechanical?

14-04-2021 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Add to iCal
Online Zoom meeting (see link below)

Speaker: Jim Al-Khalili, UK
Host: Ingemar Ernberg

Zoom meeting details

Zoom link for the meeting

Meeting ID: 669 1573 6230
Passcode: 700760
Or dial
        +46 8 5052 0017 Sweden
        +46 850 539 728 Sweden


Physicists are used to dealing with quantum mechanics, but biologists have thus far got away without having to worry about this strange yet powerful theory of the subatomic world. However, times are changing. There is now solid evidence that enzymes use quantum tunnelling to accelerate chemical reactions, plants send quantum lumps of energy in many directions at once to calculate the most efficient route for sunlight to get to their photosynthetic cells. More intriguingly, it appears that some birds might use quantum entanglement – what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance” – to ‘see’ the earth’s magnetic field for navigation. This lecture introduces the exciting new field of Quantum Biology. And if life does make use of quantum mechanics, how exciting and important is this field likely to become? 


Short Biography:
Jim Al-Khalili OBE FRS is a theoretical physicist at the University of Surrey where he holds a Distinguished Chair in physics as well as a university chair in the public engagement in science. His main research field has been theoretical nuclear physics, though in recent years he has developed an interest in the new interdisciplinary area of quantum biology. He is also a well-known populariser of science having written 14 books, between them translated into twenty-six languages. He is also a regular presenter of TV science documentaries and hosts the long-running weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific. His website: jimal-khalili.com