Some physicists are suggesting that quantum entanglement — "the weird quantum process in which a single wavefunction describes two separate objects" — holds DNA together, reports the Physics arXiv Blog. The National University of Singapore's Elisabeth Rieper and her colleagues developed a simple model of DNA in which the four bases are planar, positively charged nuclei surrounded by electron clouds and movement of those clouds relative to the nuclei create dipoles, and if they moves back and forth, a harmonic oscillation. According to the Physics arXiv Blog Rieper's team then asks, "what happens to these oscillations … when the base pairs are stacked in a double helix?" A classical physics accounting of the energy holding DNA together, Rieper's team says, isn't enough as it is "energetically less favourable than the quantum correlations" and so they turned to quantum entanglement as a possible explanation. This work is "speculative but potentially explosive," adds the Physics arXiv Blog.
Jun 28, 2010