Quantum Physics in the Garden

quantum physics in the garden

I am far from competent to discuss quantum physics, quantum mechanics, or any other sort of theoretical mathematics.  I have trouble adding and subtracting.  However, I am fascinated by higher mathematics.  That might stem from my first college experience when, as an undergraduate mechanical engineer, I came face to face with differential equations and was encouraged to pursue a degree in business management.

However, this has not prevented me from a lifelong attraction to mathematics.  When my wife found a documentary series on maths, it wasn’t hard to get me interested.   The program was quite interesting, and the young woman who was the presenter, a Ph.D. Mathematician, was knowledgeable and made the information interesting and understandable.

Quantum Entanglement – Spooky Science

quantum physics in the garden - quantum entanglement

The program eventually began to investigate the mathematics of quantum mechanics.  Anything to do with quantum physics is a subject that is far beyond my meager ability to understand, but the way the information was presented did bring a bit more understanding.  However, when the presenter began to talk to a researcher who was working on how quantum mechanics, particularly the subject of quantum entanglement, was apparent, I found my interest piqued.

Many people are unaware of the theory of quantum entanglement.  At its very basic form, it simply says that two sub-atomic particles such as electrons can be coupled in such a way that even when they are separated by hundreds of miles (perhaps even billions of miles, who knows?) any change imparted to one of those particles will affect the other.  Imagine, two electrons separated miles apart, and if you change the spin of one electron, the other exhibits the same change.  How?   That is the big question and not for this article.

The Real World

But this phenomenon does have some interesting real-world applications.  In this instance, the researcher being interviewed discussed photosynthesis.  Let’s take a look at photosynthesis. Plants and some bacteria can harvest energy from sunlight through a network of pigment proteins.  The transfer of this energy into reaction centers appears to happen with almost 100% efficiency.  Such efficiency rarely happens in nature. 

Researchers have found that within the complex molecules and structures of these plants and bacteria, some mechanism makes this energy transfer happen with unqualified efficiency.  It has been suggested that this is due to the quantum entanglement of the sub-atomic particles in the molecules.

Quantum Photosynthesis!

quantum physics in the garden - photosynthesis

What this means is that when a photon strikes one of the receptors in a plant, the receptor converts that photon of light into energy, which the plant can use to convert carbon and hydrogen into complex carbohydrates.  Photosynthesis has been understood for a while.  What has not been understood is how the system can operate at such high-efficiency rates.

The Amazing World

Quantum entanglement provides answers to these questions.   If the receptor is entangled with the particles of the other receptors in the plant when the photon reacts with the receptor and the energy conversion takes place, every other particle that is entangled with that single receptor instantaneously now has the potential to transfer that energy to the reaction centers where the further conversion takes place.  This is highly efficient.   Every time a photon interacts with a receptor, every other receptor with which it is entangled exhibits the same energy potential.  The plant doesn’t have to wait for the reaction centers to find a single molecule that now has the energy stored; every molecule can exchange that energy. 

Who could have imagined?   All the time I have been spending in the garden, planting, tending, and harvesting, I have been engaged in dealing with quantum mechanics.  There might be hope for me as a mathematician yet.  I doubt it, but the hope remains.

quantum physics in the garden  - leaf structure


Nature is a wonderfully complex and fascinating thing.  I always equated the subjects of quantum physics as a part of the universe that, even though it is at the core of what makes all things work, was so far removed from my experience that I could ignore it. Now I have discovered that the very things I enjoy so much depend on those same esoteric theories.  I am, it seems, entangled myself with quantum mechanics.

Links and Resources

For more information about organic gardening, lifestyles, and living, visit our website at West Texas Organic Gardening.

If you want to watch the episode that I found so interesting, you can access it here on Youtube.

Links and Resources

For more information about organic gardening, lifestyles, and living, visit our website at West Texas Organic Gardening.

If you found the information here helpful, you might also find these articles on our website of interest.

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