Tuesday, November 20, 2012

1211.4255 (James A. Pauls et al.)

Quantum Coherence and Entanglement in the Avian Compass    [PDF]

James A. Pauls, Yiteng Zhang, Gennady P. Berman, Sabre Kais
The radical pair mechanism is one of two distinct mechanisms used to explain the navigation of birds in geomagnetic fields. However, little research has been done to explore the role of quantum entanglement in this mechanism. In this paper, we study the lifetime of radical pair entanglement corresponding to the magnitude and direction of magnetic fields to show that the entanglement lasts long enough in birds to be used for navigation. We also demonstrate that, due to a lack of orientational sensitivity of the entanglement in the geomagnetic field, the birds are not able to orient themselves by the mechanism based directly on radical-pair entanglement. To explore the entanglement mechanism further, we propose a model in which the hyperfine interactions are replaced by local magnetic fields of similar strength. The entanglement of the radical pair in this model lasts longer and displays an angular sensitivity in weak magnetic fields, both of these factors are not present in the previous models.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1211.4255

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