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‘Quantum Hanky-Panky’ at Perimeter Institute Lecture

Recent experimental evidence suggests that living organisms are using quantum mechanics in a sophisticated fashion to enhance the efficiency of photosynthesis. Bacteria are essentially performing a quantum computation to extract energy from light.

On Wednesday, November 3, as part of Perimeter Institute’s Public Lecture Series presented by Sun Life Financial, Seth Lloyd, a principal investigator in the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will show how plants and bacteria perform quantum information processing, and will discuss how living creatures engage in all sorts of ‘quantum hanky-panky’ in their efforts to survive and reproduce.

Professor Lloyd has performed seminal work in the fields of quantum computation and quantum communications, including proposing the first technologically feasible design for a quantum computer. In 1994, he joined the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Professor Lloyd, a returning guest to PI’s Public Lecture Series, also appeared in PI’s award-winning television documentary The Quantum Tamers: Revealing Our Weird and Wired Future.

Professor Lloyd’s lecture, entitled “Quantum Life” will be held Wednesday, November 3 at 7:00 pm in Waterloo, Ontario. Tickets will be available starting Monday, October 18th, 2010.

Further details can be found at

Further details on The Quantum Tamers: Revealing Our Weird and Wired Future can be found at:

Media Inquiries: Lisa Lambert, 519.569.7600 x5051.

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is an independent, non-profit, scientific research and educational outreach organization where international scientists cluster to push the limits of our understanding of physical laws and develop new ideas about the very essence of space, time, matter and information. The Institute, located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, also provides a wide array of educational outreach activities to share the joy of scientific research, discovery and innovation. In partnership with the Governments of Ontario and Canada, PI is a successful example of private and public collaboration in science research and education.

Lisa Lambert | Newswise Science News
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