Upcoming Talks

Coming Soon

 

Monday, 23 February, 7.30pm, 2015, Cafe Scientifique, The Tea Bar, 9-13 London Street, Basingstoke.

Life on the Edge: How quantum mechanics keeps us alive

Recent research has discovered that weird quantum effects such as quantum tunnelling, quantum coherence or entanglement, may underpin fundamental biological processes, such as photosynthesis, enzyme action, gene mutation or even avian navigation. This talk and discussion will explore these recent findings and discuss what they mean for our understanding of what life really is. 

link

 

Tuesday 24 February, 2015 , 7.00pm to 8.30pm,Royal Institute

Quantum Biology: Does life depend on quantum mechanics?

Quantum mechanics is still a controversial and, to some, counter-intuitive theory and does not have widespread acceptance even within the scientific community. And yet, more and more research is going into how this theory may be applied to the biological world.

In the second of three guest-curated events by Jim Al-Khalili, Johnjoe McFadden and Hans Westerhoff will debate the merits of quantum biology and whether it has any significance to our world.

link

 

Sunday 12 April 2015, 7pm, Edinburgh Science Festival

Did life originate in the quantum multiverse? Johnjoe Mcfadden and Jim Al-Khalili

The origin of life is one of the biggest problems in the whole of science. The simplest living organisms alive today are actually highly complex creatures that could not have arisen by chance chemical reactions taking place in some ‘primordial soup’ billions of years ago. They must have been preceded by simpler self-replicating systems, probably self-replicating RNA or proteins. But even these are very improbable structure that again were unlikely to have arisen by chance, at least in a single classical universe.

In this talk we will discuss our proposal that the first biomolecules existed in a state of quantum superposition of trillions of interchangeable forms able to perform a quantum search to find rare self-replicating states. Life dipped into the quantum multiverse to make the first self-replicator.

 

Thursday 14th May, Computing with Nature, Small Exhibition Space, First Floor, Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle University.

Quantum Computing with Nature

All computations are instantiated by physical systems that interact according to physical laws to perform calculations. But which physical laws? The bits of all conventional computers are composed of trillions of elementary bits – fundamental particles – so their behaviour is subject to classical laws, such as Newton’s laws of mechanics or the various electrical laws. However, since Feynman’s insight it has been recognized that a vastly more powerful form of computation exists, quantum computing, that computes with fundamental particles and their interactions via qubits.

Living systems do of course compute using classical laws but recent revolutionary findings indicate that, a molecular level, they also compute also using quantum laws and thereby take advantage of the huge computational capabilities of quantum computing. For example, the first step in photosynthesis, the transfer of the energy captured from a photon to the reaction centre, takes advantage of quantum coherence to calculate the fastest and most efficient route to reaction centre and thereby achieve energy transport efficiencies close to 100%, greater than any artificial process. Enzymes and, possibly, olfactory receptors utilize quantum tunnelling to optimize catalysis and molecular recognition; and birds appear to use quantum entanglement to help them navigate across the globe. In this talk I will discuss the potential applications of quantum biology for the building of synthetic life forms.

 

Monday 25 May 2015, 7pm, Hay Book Festival

Life on the Edge: How quantum mechanics keeps us alive. Johnjoe McFadden and Jim Al-Khalili

Recent research has discovered that weird quantum effects such as quantum tunnelling, quantum coherence or entanglement, may underpin fundamental biological processes, such as photosynthesis, enzyme action, gene mutation or even avian navigation. This talk and discussion will explore these recent findings and discuss what they mean for our understanding of what life really is. 

Sun 7 Jun 2015 4:00pm – 5:00pm, The Times Cheltenham Science Festival

Quantum Biology. Johnjoe McFadden and Jim Al-Khalili

The strange theory of quantum mechanics – where tiny particles behave in extraordinary, counter-intuitive ways – is fundamental to chemistry and physics, but could it also be fundamental to biology too? Physicists Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden give us an update on what’s new and exciting in the fast moving field of quantum biology and the role it plays in the natural world.

Sunday 11 October. William Morris Tent, Wimbledon Common, 5pm. Tickets, £12.50

Quantum Biology: How Life Exists. Johnjoe McFadden and Jim Al-Khalili

The mystery of how life exists has not yet been explained. However developments in quantum mechanics could provide the final explanatory spark. Professors Johnjoe McFadden and Jim Al-KhaliliOBE will vividly communicate the explosive new field of quantum biology and attempt to answer the biggest puzzle of all: what is life? Johnjoe McFadden is professor of molecular genetics at the University of Surrey and Jim Al-Khalili is an academic, author and presenter of Radio 4’s The Life Scientific. Their book, Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology has recently been nominated for the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize.

 

Tickets can be purchased online at www.wimbledonbookfest.org or via the box office on 020 8545 8342 (Tuesday 10am-5pm, Fridays 2-5pm).

November 26th, 2015, International School on Quantum and Nano Computing Systems and Applications, Dayalbagh, Agra, India.

Life on the Edge: How quantum mechanics keeps us alive. Johnjoe McFadden

Recent research has discovered that weird quantum effects such as quantum tunnelling, quantum coherence or entanglement, may underpin fundamental biological processes, such as photosynthesis, enzyme action, gene mutation or even avian navigation. This talk and discussion will explore these recent findings and discuss what they mean for our understanding of what life really is.