Still Don’t Understand Quantum Computing?  Step Back to 2014…

Attempting to understand quantum mechanics is very difficult, if not impossible, due to our lack of effort to understand “hard stuff.”  You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, but for billions of dollars, governments, academia, and commercial entities will tell you quantum is coming under full control, inside a computer. 

Putting a more practical and understandable view on the topic can be found in this 2014 article out of The Guardian.  Quantum mechanics underlies everything.  Everything. 

Consider biology.  How do some bird species find their way with magnetism?  Photon entanglement is one theory [spooky action at a distance].  How does a photon find the shortest path to being stored as ‘plant food’ after hitting a leaf?  By sampling all possible paths through the leaf’s molecular structure at once [quantum computer].  What is quantum tunneling?  A good analogy is found in this quantum-bio-mechanics piece, from 2014.  Qubit.

Excerpts and salient points ~

•  Over the past few years, the European robin, and its quantum “sixth sense”, has emerged as the pin-up for a new field of research, one that brings together the wonderfully complex and messy living world and the counterintuitive, ethereal but strangely orderly world of atoms and elementary particles in a collision of disciplines that is as astonishing and unexpected as it is exciting. Welcome to the new science of quantum biology.

•  Most people have probably heard of quantum mechanics, even if they don’t really know what it is about. Certainly, the idea that it is a baffling and difficult scientific theory understood by just a tiny minority of smart physicists and chemists has become part of popular culture. Quantum mechanics describes a reality on the tiniest scales that is, famously, very weird indeed; a world in which particles can exist in two or more places at once, spread themselves out like ghostly waves, tunnel through impenetrable barriers and even possess instantaneous connections that stretch across vast distances.

•  Enzymes are the workhorses of life. They speed up chemical reactions so that processes that would otherwise take thousands of years proceed in seconds inside living cells. Life would be impossible without them. But how they accelerate chemical reactions by such enormous factors, often more than a trillion-fold, has been an enigma. Experiments over the past few decades, however, have shown that enzymes make use of a remarkable trick called quantum tunneling to accelerate biochemical reactions. Essentially, the enzyme encourages electrons and protons to vanish from one position in a biomolecule and instantly rematerialise in another, without passing through the gap in between – a kind of quantum teleportation.

Source:  The Guardian.  Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden, You’re powered by quantum mechanics. No, really…

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