Biomolecules exhibit quantum mechanical behavior
A research team led by Anirban Bandyopadhyay – a preeminent researcher in the quantum science of biology – has demonstrated high temperature quantum mechanical vibrations in brain neurons. The research, undertaken at the National Institute of Material Sciences in Tsukuba, Japan, found how the high frequency oscillation of microtubules – measured at one million cycles per second in this case (one megahertz – 1MHz oscillation of electrical dipole moments of free electrons and conformational switching), cause wave interference that may give rise to the characteristic shape of the electrical oscillations of the brain that are correlated with conscious awareness, specifically a new kind of electroencephalographic signal (EEG) of 40 Hz / 4 Hz nested gestalts (gamma and delta oscillations, respectively), referred to as “beat frequencies”.
Gamma frequencies have been correlated with consciousness, ostensibly through the action of neuronal synchronization, and the periodic wave structure of the gamma-delta “beat frequencies” are very reminiscent of the alternating interference bands of quanta occurring in double slit experiments. Thus, seeming to link the brain synchronization of consciousness with underlying quantum mechanical behaviors of microtubules. With these quantum vibrations microtubules can become entangled across neuronal networks via interconnecting channels, called gap junctions, which physically link neurons together. This is the theory of consciousness developed and espoused by quantum biologist and chief anesthesiologist at the University of Arizona, Stuart Hameroff, and Emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford, physicist Roger Penrose. The latest findings strongly support their model of quantum-based mechanics within the brain engendering consciousness, which has received impassioned criticisms from academics since its inception in the 1980’s, as is typical of any revolutionary paradigm.
Water’s role in the brain
Importantly, Anirban Bandyopadhyay and his research team have performed experimentation that indicates the central importance of water in information processing operations within the brain and body. In their paper atomic water channel controlling remarkable properties of a single brain microtubule the research team reported on experimentation involving the highly ordered water within the cylindrical cavity of the microtubule lumen. They found that when the water was evacuated from the central chamber, the microtubule ceased to exhibit strong correlation across the macromolecular assembly of tubulin subunits. This strongly suggests that the water is playing a central role in coordinating the behavior of the multiple subunits of the microtubule and in effect making it function as a single molecule – a highly quantum-like effect. Water, as has been suggested by physicist Nassim Haramein and the Resonance Science Foundation research team, is integral to long-range coherence and orchestration of cellular information processes correlated with conscious awareness .
Observations from anesthesia
Furthermore, research performed at the University of Pennsylvania, conducted by Roderick G. Eckenhoff, suggests that anesthetic compounds work in part by disrupting the normal function of microtubules, ostensibly by dispersing the electric dipoles necessary for consciousness. It was Stuart Hameroff’s anesthesiological studies in the 1970’s that led him to suggest a role for microtubules in the generation of conscious awareness, after observing changes in microtubule dynamics when exposed to anesthetic compounds. If there is a molecule that stops conscious awareness, then seeing what specific changes occur in the cellular environment when exposed to such a compound will be a major clue to what structures are involved in the generation of awareness. Hameroff’s revolutionary idea was to take the theoretical mechanisms of consciousness from the cellular-synaptic level, to the nanometer scale of large biomolecular networks, where quantum mechanical behaviors could potentially occur (following in the wake of Herbert Fröhlich who had proposed that long polymer biomolecules could achieve quantum coherent solition waves through metabolic energy pumping, resulting in nonlocal entanglement – later termed Fröhlich condensates).
A new kind of Physics
One of the key features of Hameroff’s and Penrose’ theory is called Orchestrated Objective Reduction (Orch-OR), in which it is theorized that the state vector (the wavefunction that describes a particle) of delocalized free electrons within tubulin undergoes an observer-independent reduction (an objective versus subjective collapse of the wavefunction). As the electron exhibits more and more nonlocal attributes, what is referred to as a superposition, the underlying spacetime geometry bifurcates, and the degree of separation between the spacetime “bubbles” – measured in Planck lengths – reaches a critical distance, at which time the spacetime geometry becomes unstable and collapses.
This mechanism is referred to as the Diósi-Penrose criterion of gravity-induced quantum collapse. Each such bifurcation and collapse represents an indeterminable quantum computation, and the coordination of a multitude of such events through quantum entanglement (the orchestrated part of OR) allows for massively parallel quantum computations within the brain. As Hameroff and Penrose suggest, this is what produces conscious awareness. Since, reduction of the state vector is due entirely to this stochastic mechanism, and is therefore in-determinate, it bestows a characteristic of unpredictability to consciousness.
The USN and Haramein scaling law
Just as the Diósi-Penrose criterion of gravity-induced quantum collapse is mediated by an underlying spacetime quantum geometry, Haramein et alii describe an underlying spacetime geometry in the paper The Unified Spacememory Network. In contrast to the Diósi-Penrose mechanism, the spacetime quantum geometry of the unified spacememory network does not involve superpositions but instead strong entanglement via the micro-wormhole network of the underlying Planckian spacetime. In addition to microtubules, the authors highlight the importance of structures like the atomically ordered water and membranes of the cellular system.
Microtubules are truly remarkable macromolecular structures of the biological system, so it is no wonder that a number of researchers have taken a keen interests in them. In the paper Scale Unification, Haramein and Rauscher, along with biologist Michael Hyson, present their findings on a universal scaling law for organized matter. There are a number of organized systems of matter that obey the Schwarzschild condition of a black hole, and when they are plotted on a graph for frequency vs. radius, a trend line emerges, in which structures from the cosmological to the sub-atomic size show a definite scaling ratio. What’s remarkable, is that microtubules were found to lie dead-center on the trend line, occupying the equiposition between the ultra-large, and the ultra-small – the macrocosmos and the microcosmos.
“It is of interest that the microtubules of eukaryotic cells, which have a typical length of 2 X 10-8cm and an estimated vibrational frequency of 109 to 1014 Hz lie quite close to the line specified by the scaling law and intermediate between the stellar and atomic scales” – Haramein et al, Scale Unification, 2008
The fractal manifold
According to this finding, microtubules may have a harmonic relationship with polarizable structures of the quantum vacuum (which they show is in a Ф (phi) ratio! A fractal-like scaling relationship). John Wheeler first described these fluctuating vacuum structures as mini Planck black holes. Similarly, Haramein shows how the vacuum oscillators may in fact be white hole / black hole systems. So whereas the Diósi-Penrose criterion utilizes a bifurcating “bubble” geometry of spacetime, Haramein’s solution shows how it may be the action of polarized white hole/ black hole spacetime structures, the oscillation of which functions as the computational element in analogy to the gravitationally-induced collapse of the Hameroff-Penrose mechanism.
“The universality of this scaling law suggests an underlying polarizable structured vacuum of mini white holes/black holes.” – ibidem
Furthermore, Haramein describes a fractal manifold structure of spacetime, far from the smooth and flat spacetime architecture envisioned by the Standard Model. This is highly pertinent to the nature of consciousness, because fractal systems are produced by / and underlie chaos dynamics. One of the key features of chaotic systems is that they can be extremely sensitive to even small changes, because of the nonlinear interactions that result from feedback operations and high global coherency within the system. As such, there is an indeterminate nature to fractal / chaotic systems, much like trying to predict the weather. So, that in contrast to the objective reduction mechanism proposed by Hameroff and Penrose, the chaotic dynamics of the quantum vacuum foam fluctuations could be the source of the seeming unpredictability and self-volition so characteristic of our consciousness (keep in mind that in the technical semantic, chaos does not mean disordered, quite the contrary, it just implies certain key characteristics, such as a degree of unpredictability).
In between a rock and a hard place? Find the middle way
As more and more nonlocal quantum mechanical phenomena are discovered within the biological system, Hameroff’s and Penrose’ theory (as well as other researchers who are investigating this new frontier of science) is accumulating tangible empirical evidence, so that models of quantum consciousness are transitioning from beautiful theoretical constructs – to demonstrable facts. What’s remarkable about Hameroff’s as well as Haramein’s model of consciousness is that they find the middle ground between two extremes: the spiritual / metaphysical perspective on one side, in which consciousness is primary and cannot really be explained scientifically; and on the other side the scientific / materialist perspective, in which consciousness is an epiphenomenological illusionary state that emerges from the complexity of neurons and plays no part in the dynamics of the Universe at large. Instead, what we call consciousness may not only arise from the dynamics of discrete physical events of the quantum spacetime manifold, but play an intrinsic role in the ordering and dynamics of the Universe as well.
By: William Brown