Are we quantum computers, or merely clever robots?

Who: Matthew Fisher, University of California Santa Barbara
When: 
Monday, October 15, 2018 - 4:00pm

Of course quantum information processing is not possible in the warm wet brain. There is, however, one \loophole" - oered by nuclear spins - that must be closed before acknowledging that we are merely clever robots. Putative neural quantum processing with nuclear spins seemingly requires fulllment 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 ring 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 specic neural qubit and a unique collection of ions, molecules and enzymes is identied, illuminating an apparently single path towards nuclear spin quantum processing in the brain.