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Birds might actually be using quantum mechanics to find their way through the skies

 
Anonymous Coward
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01/09/2011 09:40 PM
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Birds might actually be using quantum mechanics to find their way through the skies
Birds might actually be using quantum mechanics to find their way through the skies

Finally a story about birds that doesn't involve them falling out of the sky. We know that robins, like many other animals, uses the Earth's magnetic field to navigate, but we don't know how. The answer could be quantum mechanics.

Although birds are probably the most famous magnetic navigators, the technique of sensing subtle variations in our planet's magnetic field is also used by creatures like bacteria and mole rats. But just how any of these critters manage to sense the Earth's magnetic field has long been a mystery. The leading hypothesis suggests that the field could affect small iron molecules in a bird's eyes, but new research suggests the real mechanisms might be much, much weirder.

The new model says that quantum entanglement is the key. Entanglement is when the quantum status of two particles becomes intertwined so that knowing the properties of one particle means you instantly know the properties of the other, no matter how far apart the two particles might be. (That's the short version, at any rate - here's a more detailed explanation.)
[link to io9.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/09/2011 09:42 PM
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Re: Birds might actually be using quantum mechanics to find their way through the skies
Are Plants Really Using Quantum Entanglement In Photosynthesis?
A recent article in Scientific American suggested that plants use quantum entanglement in photosynthesis. What can this mean? The answer is more (and less) than expected. Take a quick look at quantum entanglement and find out why.

Quick Quantum Entanglement Facts:

a) Quantum entanglement happens when the quantum status of two particles is intertwined, like two cats in a sack.

b) As with two cats in a sack, determining the state of one particle (say, by lightly nudging the sack with your toe until one side twitches and says ‘meow') allows you to know the state of the other particle (the non-twitching, non-meowing particle).

c) Also as with two cats in a sack, changing the status of one particle (for example, playfully spritzing one cat with water) will allow you to change the status of the other particle (be ready for epic yowling, is what I'm getting at).
[link to io9.com]
Anonymous Coward
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01/09/2011 10:50 PM
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Re: Birds might actually be using quantum mechanics to find their way through the skies
BUMP
Anonymous Coward
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01/09/2011 11:00 PM
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Re: Birds might actually be using quantum mechanics to find their way through the skies
So the story is basically saying, if earth's magnetic field is fucked up, the birds could get dissoriented and fall out of the sky?





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