Quantum mechanics, a theory in physics that explains the behaviour of matter and energy on the microscopic scale, is now believed to play a crucial role in biological processes. The European robin’s navigational skills, for instance, rely on a quantum effect. This bird harnesses quantum entanglement, a phenomenon where particles become interconnected and the state of one can instantly affect the other, no matter the distance.

Photosynthesis, the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesise foods, also employs quantum mechanics. Scientists have discovered that plants utilise a principle called superposition, allowing them to try out all possible routes simultaneously to transport energy from light efficiently.

Furthermore, our sense of smell appears to be a quantum effect. When an odour molecule fits into a receptor in your nose, it might trigger a quantum event that sends a signal to your brain. This theory suggests that different vibrational states of a molecule can alter the smell perceived.

These examples illustrate how quantum mechanics is not just a strange theory but a practical part of our everyday life. It’s not only about the tiny particles in the universe but also about the birds in the sky, the plants in the fields, and the very sense of smell.

Go to source article: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/oct/26/youre-powered-by-quantum-mechanics-biology