Quantum sensor effect in bird navigation? Institute for Electronic Structure and Lasers, Foundation for Research and Technology, Heraklion | University of Crete In arXiv:0804.2646, arXivblog, and Slashdot reports, Kominis investigates the potential for Zeno effect-based quantum sensing in bird navigation. "How birds use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate has puzzled researchers for decades. In recent years, a growing body of evidence has pointed to the possibility that a weak magnetic field can influence the outcome of a certain type of chemical reaction involving the recombination of pairs of ions in bird retinas. The trouble is that the ion recombination is known to happen too quickly for the Earth's weak magnetic field to have any effect. Now it looks as if the quantum Zeno effect may explain the process (abstract). This is the "watched-pot-never-boils" effect, in which the act of observing a quantum system maintains it for longer than expected. This is extraordinary news, because it means a quantum sensor is determining the macroscopic behavior of living birds. Kominis says we may well see these effects elsewhere, and mentions that a similar mechanism might be at work in photosynthesis."

MagiQ Research Labs Andrew Hammond | MagiQ Technologies MagiQ Technologies (NYC) has founded MagiQ Research Labs in Somerville, MA. The lab will provide a technical, engineering and production facility base for public and private sectors in medical optics, quantum information, fiber sensing, aerospace and defense applications, and has been established under research grants from ARO, DARPA, and NASA.