The key to practical quantum computing and high-efficiency solar cells may lie in the messy green world outside the physics lab, according to a Nature news article discussing SFI Miller Scholar and External Professor Seth Lloyd's research in quantum biology.
The article cites discoveries in recent years suggesting that "coherent quantum processes may well be ubiquitous in the natural world. Known or suspected examples range from the ability of birds to navigate using Earth's magnetic field to the inner workings of photosynthesis— the process by which plants and bacteria turn sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into organic matter, and arguably the most important biochemical reaction on Earth."
Biology has a knack for using what works, Lloyd says.
Read the Nature article (June 15, 2011)
Read the Santa Fe New Mexican article (April 24, 2011)
Read the SFI Update article (May-June 2011)