• Corpus ID: 53048344

Chapter 1 A Quantum Origin of Life ?

  title={Chapter 1 A Quantum Origin of Life ?},
  author={Paul C. W. Davies},
The origin of life is one of the great unsolved problems of science. In the nineteenth century, many scientists believed that life was some sort of magic matter. The continued use of the term “organic chemistry” is a hangover from that era. The assumption that there is a chemical recipe for life led to the hope that, if only we knew the details, we could mix up the right stuff in a test tube and make life in the lab. Most research on biogenesis has followed that tradition, by assuming chemistry… 



The Probability of the Existence of a Self-Reproducing Unit

The present article is a report on the considerations and calculations which Elsasser undertook in this connection, and shows that the germ-cells do not have properties which the physicist would expect to be suitable for storing large amounts of information.


We dwell upon the physicist's conception of 'life' since Schrodinger and Wigner through to the modern-day language of living systems in the light of quantum information. We discuss some basic

What Is Life

Preface A scientist is supposed to have a complete and thorough I of knowledge, at first hand, of some subjects and, therefore, is usually expected not to write on any topic of which he is not a

Environment-induced superselection rules

We show how the correlations of a quantum system with other quantum systems may cause one of its observables to behave in a classical manner. In particular, "reduction of the wave packet," postulated

Why genetic information processing could have a quantum basis

Experiments should be able to tell whether evolution indeed took advantage of quantum dynamics or not, as well as why living organisms have 4 nucleotide bases and 20 amino acids, as optimal solutions of the molecular assembly process.

A single quantum cannot be cloned

If a photon of definite polarization encounters an excited atom, there is typically some nonvanishing probability that the atom will emit a second photon by stimulated emission. Such a photon is

The importance of quantum decoherence in brain processes

  • Max Tegmark
  • Physics
    Physical review. E, Statistical physics, plasmas, fluids, and related interdisciplinary topics
  • 2000
It is argued that the degrees of freedom of the human brain that relate to cognitive processes should be thought of as a classical rather than quantum system, i.e., that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the current classical approach to neural network simulations.

Reduction of a wave packet in quantum Brownian motion.

  • UnruhZurek
  • Physics
    Physical review. D, Particles and fields
  • 1989
In an open quantum system, dissipation can cause decorrelation on a time scale significantly shorter than the relaxation time which characterizes the approach of the system to thermodynamic equilibrium, and it is demonstrated that the density matrix decays rapidly toward a mixture of ``approximate eigenstates'' of the ``pointer observable,'' which commutes with the system-environment interaction Hamiltonian.

Tuning and switching a DNA polymerase motor with mechanical tension

This network analysis simulates well the chief results from single-molecule experiments including the tension-induced attenuation of polymerase activity, the onset of exonucleolysis at high tension, and insensitivity to large changes in concentration of the enzyme.