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Honours Project
G J Milburn

There is currently a lot of interest in identifying non trivial quantum effects that determine biological function. The usual objection is that life is 'hot, wet and noisy', which is sufficient to wash-out any subtle quantum features. Very recently however two non trivial effects have been identified, one in photosynthesis molecular pathways and the other in magneto navigation in the European robin. In the latter case singlet to triplet conversion of the radical pair mechanism is thought to be the key.  The Briegel group in Innsbruck  have given a careful analysis of  this  mechanism ( http://arxiv.org/abs/0906.2383v4) . In this project we will investigate to what extent auto catalytic paths ways can be used as  quantum control mechanism to enhance coherence in open dissipative systems driven far from equilibrium. This theory project will make extensive use of the measurement based feedback models developed by Wiseman and Milburn (see http://www.quantum-measurement-and-control.org/doku.php/   )


Supervisor: Prof. G J Milburn