Thought for the month

“There is nothing noble in being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.” Probably W.L. Sheldon, US lecturer on ethics (1858 – 1907) rather than Ernest Hemingway.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Schrodinger's bird?

Apparently the robin (Erithacus rubecula) is a user of quantum coherence. The conclusion comes from analysing data showing that the magnetic compass used by robins could be disrupted by extremely small levels of magnetic noise. When the noise, a small oscillating magnetic field, was introduced it completely disabled the robins' compass sense which then returned to normal once the noise was removed. According to the Oxford team, only a system with components operating at a quantum level would be this sensitive to such a small amount of noise. No robins were harmed in the writing of this newsletter.

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