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The Web Poetry Corner - Philip Claude Andermann - The Criticla Threshold

The Criticla Threshold

by

Philip Claude Andermann

Schroedinger in 1944 posited
that life was uniquely quantic in its function,
in a way that otherwise only approached near absolute zero.
Discoveries since have supported his prescient postulate,
it has certainly not been disproved.

The eminent mathematical physicist Roger Penrose
extended this for the brain.
He appealed to quantum physics as he believes
that the way we think is fundamentally unlike the way
a computer caries out algorithmic processes.
This non-computability of conscious thought, he maintains,
must require something beyond classical physics - namely, quantum physics.
And he believes he has found just the right biological vessel
to protect the delicate quantum coherence [explained later] within the brain
from the environment.
The brain's neurons contain hollow cylindrical polymers
call microtubules.
These are in turn made up of individual proteins known as tubulin,
which can exist in a superposition of two slightly different shapes.
Penrose maintains that the microtubules
have just the right properties for superposition to be maintained,
and spread to surrounding microtubules,
A coherent superposition is thus maintained for a significant time,
allowing the pre-conscious processes to emerge.
Objective reduction of the superposition takes place
when Penrose's critical threshold [critical, to be explained] is reached
and consciousness is switched on.
Of course, this would be going on all the time in the brain.
Maybe we do not need to build a quantum computer in the first place:
we carry one with us in the head!


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