HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Clarice Aiello

University of California at Los Angeles

From Nanotech to Living Sensors: Unraveling the Spin Physics of Biosensing at the Nanoscale

March 16, 2021

Substantial in vitro and physiological experimental results suggest that similar coherent spin
physics might underlie phenomena as varied as the biosensing of magnetic fields in animal
navigation and the magnetosensitivity of metabolic reactions related to oxidative stress in
cells. If this is correct, organisms might behave, for a short time, as “living quantum sensors”
and might be studied and controlled using quantum sensing techniques developed for
technological sensors. I will outline our approach towards performing coherent quantum
measurements and control on proteins, cells and organisms in order to understand how they
interact with their environment, and how physiology is regulated by such interactions. Can
coherent spin physics be established — or refuted! — to account for physiologically relevant
biosensing phenomena, and be manipulated to technological and therapeutic advantage?