The origins of quantum biology

Proc Math Phys Eng Sci. 2018 Dec;474(2220):20180674. doi: 10.1098/rspa.2018.0674. Epub 2018 Dec 12.


Quantum biology is usually considered to be a new discipline, arising from recent research that suggests that biological phenomena such as photosynthesis, enzyme catalysis, avian navigation or olfaction may not only operate within the bounds of classical physics but also make use of a number of the non-trivial features of quantum mechanics, such as coherence, tunnelling and, perhaps, entanglement. However, although the most significant findings have emerged in the past two decades, the roots of quantum biology go much deeper-to the quantum pioneers of the early twentieth century. We will argue that some of the insights provided by these pioneering physicists remain relevant to our understanding of quantum biology today.

Keywords: history of physics; quantum biology; quantum coherence; tunnelling.

Publication types

  • Review