Biophotons: Are lentils sending secret quantum messages?

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS


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In the foothills to the south of Rome sits Italy’s premier nuclear physics lab, the National Laboratory of Frascati. It has all the equipment you would expect at a cutting-edge science facility, with huge magnets, powerful particle accelerators and exposed electric cables spilling out everywhere. Many of the researchers here are trying to unpick the secrets of the standard model, our best theory of how reality works at its most fundamental level. And then there is the room where Cătălina Curceanu is monitoring a small box of lentils.

Granted, it isn’t exactly normal behaviour for a physicist, but Curceanu hopes the apparatus and methods of nuclear physics can solve the century-old mystery of why lentils – and other organisms too – constantly emit an extremely weak dribble of photons, or particles of light. Some reckon these “biophotons” are of no consequence. Others insist they are a subtle form of lentil communication. Curceanu leans towards the latter camp – and she has a hunch that the pulses between the pulses might even contain secret quantum signals. “These are only the first steps, but it looks extremely interesting,” she says.

There are already hints that living things make use of quantum phenomena, with inconclusive evidence that they feature in photosynthesis and the way birds navigate, among other things. But lentils, not known for their complex behaviour, would be the most startling example yet of quantum biology, says Michal Cifra at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. “It would be amazing,” says Cifra. “If it’s true.” Since so many organisms emit biophotons, such a discovery might indicate that quantum effects are ubiquitous…



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