"The relation between quantum-mechanical concepts and biological systems is explored by studying the relation of both to the concepts of heat capacity and entropy. It is shown that the most important substances in living matter have extremely low heat capacities and entropies at ordinary temperatures. A critical analysis of the two types of quantum-mechanical interactions between particles and the interactions occurring in low-entropy systems shows that the wave properties of matter are strongly predominant in the chemical elements that constitute 99 percent of living matter. It is concluded that the wave aspects of matter are strongly predominant in biological systems. Predominance of the wave aspects of matter appears to be a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for the existence of life.
Evidence is cited indicating that biological systems are condensates in momentum space in the same sense as superconducting electrons and helium II. The evidence indicates that the wave-functions of pi electrons in proteins, nucleic acids, and porphyrins extend over relatively long distances by means of quantum-mechanical resonance, and it is suggested that this is the physical basis of the extension of biological organization into macroscopic dimensions. Quantum-mechanical resonance can be regarded as a specific example of the predominance of the wave aspects of matter in the essential chemical structures of living organism"--Abstract, page ii.
Lund, Louis H., 1919-1998
James, William Joseph
Fuller, Harold Q., 1907-1996
Johnson, Charles A.
M.S. in Physics
Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy
vi, 42 pages
© 1963 Andrew A. Cochran, All rights reserved.
Thesis - Open Access
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Cochran, Andrew A., "The application of quantum-mechanical concepts to biological systems" (1963). Masters Theses. 2861.