|Home > Soul > Part III > 37. The Mind As a Quantum Computer|
Quantum computers promise to revolutionize computing technologies. They use "qubit" as the basic unit of information, instead of the classical "bit". In the past, most developers of quantum computers (e.g., Google and IBM) employed superconducting circuits to implement qubits. Recently, a growing number of researchers believed that the photon-based qubits (Slussarenko and Pryde, 2019) could be a more promising approach to quantum computing. Psi Quantum, a startup company that has raised over $200M since 2016, claims: "A useful quantum computer requires at least a million qubits.....Photonics is the only way to deliver 1,000,000 qubits."
According to mind-body dualism, the mind is an entity distinct from the brain. Conscious perception of a scene is imprinted in the mind, not the brain. Thus, the information about perceived scenes is stored in the "mind" whose physical nature remains to be investigated. Remarkably, the mind seems to use polarized photons to implement qubits in the information. Neuronal firing is accompanied by ionic fluxes through ion channels. Physical laws dictate that any accelerating charged particle will radiate electromagnetic (EM) waves and any accelerating particle with mass should produce gravitational (GR) waves. An ion has both mass and charge. Before ions enter ion channels, they move slowly and randomly in the solution, with negligible acceleration. As a neuron fires, a large number of ions will pass through the channels, with strong acceleration driven by the electrochemical gradient. Because ions possess both mass and charge, their accelerated motion will produce both GR and EM waves.
Hence, the ionic motion in channels resembles the oscillation of electrons in a straight antenna, which is known to emit polarized EM waves (photons). The development of a useful quantum computer faces a major hurdle: the decoherence problem. That is, the interaction between qubits and the environment limits the coherence time such that the information stored in qubits is lost within a tiny fraction of a second. The decoherence problem becomes more serious as the number of qubits in a computer increases.
A brain consists of trillions of ion channels. Any cognitive task may require millions of coherent (entangled) photons emitted from ions during synchronized neuronal firing. Their coherence may last for several seconds. Then, how can the mind maintain the coherence of millions of qubits for such a long duration? The answer could lie in the GR waves emitted from ions. Further details are discussed in the following sections.
Author: Frank Lee