Sunday, September 6, 2015

"Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology" by Johnjoe McFadden, Jim Al-Khalili

I am fascinated with quantum mechanics, so this book immediately stood out to me.  How does quantum mechanics relate to biology?  Obviously, there are quantum particles such as electrons in living matter.  However, these authors really take it a step further to explain and postulate how quantum mechanics aids in common biological processes.  From photosynthesis to enzyme action to the concept to the soul, and more, this book dives deep.  Of particular interest was the idea that quantum mechanics is responsible for the compass in creatures such as birds and butterflies that allows them to migrate on precise magnetic headings to their migratory destinations.  Also fascinating was the concept of how quantum mechanics works with the sense of smell in creatures.  This book was great.  My only criticism is that it could have had more pictures.  When discussing complex chemical phenomena, sometimes words alone can not convey the whole story.  I work as a rocket scientist by day, and even I had to read many paragraphs multiple times before I got the gist.

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