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Are we quantum computers, or merely clever robots?

November 20, 2018 - 4:00pm
Speaker: 
Matthew Fisher
Institution: 
UCSB

Of course quantum information processing is not possible in the warm wet brain. There is, however, one “loophole” - offered by nuclear spins - that must be closed before acknowledging that we are merely clever robots. Putative neural quantum processing with nuclear spins seemingly requires fulfillment of many unrealizable conditions: for example, a common biological element with a very isolated nuclear spin to serve as a qubit, a mechanism for quantum entangling qubits, a mechanism for quantum memory storage and processing, a quantum to biochemical transduction that modulates neuron firing rates, among others. My strategy, guided by these requirements, is one of reverse engineering seeking to identify the bio-chemical substrate and mechanisms hosting such putative quantum processing. Remarkably, a specific neural qubit and a unique collection of ions, molecules and enzymes is identified, illuminating an apparently single path towards nuclear spin quantum processing in the brain.

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