Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Fascinating "Good News" Story

Birds might actually be using quantum mechanics to find their way through the skies
As light enters the eye, it hits a protein called the cryptochrome, which surrounds the retina. Electrons in this protein are entangled, but light causes one part of an electron pair to get knocked out. The freed electron starts to wobble in reaction to Earth's magnetic field, but its still entangled brother also experiences these same movements and the magnetic pull from the rest of the molecule. The difference in how these two electrons move - because the free electron is no longer affected by the magnetic pull of the cryptochrome - creates patterns in the retina that the robin's brain can then interpret and use for navigation.

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