'Quantum smell' idea gains ground

page: 1
9
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join

posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 07:50 PM
link   
'Quantum smell' idea gains ground

So the traditional idea of smell is that there are different receptors in the nose, and molecules of different shapes can only fit into certain receptors. What receptor is used determines what the smell is. So all X shaped molecules should smell the same. All O shaped molecules should smell the same. There's a problem with this explanation though.

molecules that include sulphur and hydrogen atoms bonded together - they may take a wide range of shapes, but all of them smell of rotten eggs.


That doesn't have an explanation if you follow the traditional olfactory explanation. So Dr Turin from MIT has come up with an alternate explanation. Smell has a quantum component to it. It is not just shape, but the vibration of that shape that determines smell.

This of course did not sit well with traditionalists, and they set out to disprove it. They used a molecule that had the same shape, but a different vibration. They replaced oxygen with deuterium. They published a paper that showed people could not tell the difference. Dr Turin countered with a paper showing flies COULD tell the difference. So then Dr Turin used a larger molecule so that the vibrational difference would be greater. Using this molecule people were able to tell the difference between two molecules that had the identical shape, only a different vibration.

Prof Vosshall, the author of the original study showing that people could not tell the difference between molecules with different vibrations, which later Dr Turin showed flies could, had this to say.


"I like to think of the vibration theory of olfaction and its proponents as unicorns. The rest of us studying olfaction are horses." "The problem is that proving that a unicorn exists or does not exist is impossible. This debate on the vibration theory or the existence of unicorns will never end, but the very important underlying question of why things smell the way they do will continue to be answered by the horses among us."


Clearly opponents of quantum mechanics in olfactory senses are not yet convinced. I have yet to hear an explanation for Dr Turin's research using the traditional view though.




posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 07:57 PM
link   
In science, unicorns often turn out to be real. Like pretty much every time.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 08:21 PM
link   
Yeah, the unicorn statement is extremely arrogant. It parallels the arrogance against civilian science. Yet if it wasn't initially for civilian science and those thinking outside the box, professional science wouldn't even exist. Its not like research into this theory is assumption based. Scientific process is bieng used to qualify it. Horse man doesn't seem to have a stronger argument than the unicorns in this case.




edit on 27-1-2013 by dainoyfb because: of extreme typos.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 08:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by darkbake
In science, unicorns often turn out to be real. Like pretty much every time.

lol, true... but in this case we certainly aren't dealing with any unicorns. His theory involving the molecule vibration is certainly grounded in reality and previously discovered principles. It's completely plausible in every way... and the scientists whom deny such a possibility with everything they have are clearly the ones losing touch with reality and replacing the scientific methodology with harsh emotionally driven bias.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 08:58 PM
link   

Originally posted by dainoyfb
Yeah, the unicorn statement is extremely arrogant. It parallels the arrogance against civilian science. Yet if it wasn't initially for civilian science and those thinking outside the box, professional science wouldn't even exist. Its not like research into this theory is assumption based. Scientific process is bieng used to qualify it. Horse man doesn't seem to have a stronger argument than the unicorns in this case.




edit on 27-1-2013 by dainoyfb because: of extreme typos.


My thoughts exactly. Rather than use science to counter science, they use ad-hominem attacks. Typically this is done when you have nothing of value to offer, and you are not trying to get to the 'truth', but simply trying to 'win' or 'score points'.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 09:01 PM
link   

Originally posted by darkbake
In science, unicorns often turn out to be real. Like pretty much every time.


I wouldn't go that far. In fact, I would say that's not very true. I would love some instances though. In this case, there is no unicorn. We have verifiable, repeatable, scientific experiments. One of two things must be done. The science must be shown to be faulty (which has not been done), or an explanation must be given. The traditional view has no explanation for this. This isn't a unicorn, just a new breed of horse that answers a lot of questions we had about horses.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 09:08 PM
link   
reply to post by OccamsRazor04
 


When you think about what we use smell for, why we consider some things bad or good based purely on smell, it's complicating things to consider them at such a level as the molecule.

It's interesting, and no doubt from the theories put forward and the obstinate yet typical reaction from currently accepted thought, something to look into (at least from my perspective) but it won't break the world if it turns out to be true.

I am just wondering, how would the difference be? Does this imply that rotten food vibrates differently to other decaying matter that can smell benign or even pleasant to some?

We have evolved to recognise certain smells, the same way that we see colours to indicate danger or safety in nature. Big red bugs, dangerous poison.

To me, smell is simply another very small insight into a larger scale concept.

Just like our other senses, they are to perceive the bigger picture. And we only barely do that. We float around on this upper layer of perception, existing so hardcore in such a meaningless reality, and we think this is it. That's all there is. This.

If we were to perceive every aspect of reality in all of it's possible aspects, as we currently are, we'd go mental.

Quantum smells.. I wonder why they say space smells like beef then.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 09:13 PM
link   
reply to post by OccamsRazor04
 


And from there, it's either aliens or Elvis being alive... I've got a finger his ego can pull, so how about that?



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 09:30 PM
link   
reply to post by winofiend
 




I am just wondering, how would the difference be? Does this imply that rotten food vibrates differently to other decaying matter that can smell benign or even pleasant to some?

When food rots it's caused by decay and bacterial decomposition. These processes release chemicals which we associate with rotten food. The key word here is "associate". Evolution has wired our brains to associate certain smells with safe and dangerous things. That's why poisons almost always smell really bad... it's our body trying to warn us of the dangers. Good smells are only "good" in our mind because our brain is wired that way. Of course this logic isn't true 100% of the time because some things are odourless, and in some rare cases our mind will tell us that bad things actually smell good. But in general it holds true... because that's how evolution works. It can be thought of as a separate process to how our nose actually detects chemicals... the way we interpret those smells is a mental thing, which is why not all people interpret smells the same way. Something that smells good to one person may smell really bad to another person.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 09:36 PM
link   

Originally posted by winofiend
reply to post by OccamsRazor04
 


When you think about what we use smell for, why we consider some things bad or good based purely on smell, it's complicating things to consider them at such a level as the molecule.

It's interesting, and no doubt from the theories put forward and the obstinate yet typical reaction from currently accepted thought, something to look into (at least from my perspective) but it won't break the world if it turns out to be true.

I am just wondering, how would the difference be? Does this imply that rotten food vibrates differently to other decaying matter that can smell benign or even pleasant to some?

We have evolved to recognise certain smells, the same way that we see colours to indicate danger or safety in nature. Big red bugs, dangerous poison.

To me, smell is simply another very small insight into a larger scale concept.

Just like our other senses, they are to perceive the bigger picture. And we only barely do that. We float around on this upper layer of perception, existing so hardcore in such a meaningless reality, and we think this is it. That's all there is. This.

If we were to perceive every aspect of reality in all of it's possible aspects, as we currently are, we'd go mental.

Quantum smells.. I wonder why they say space smells like beef then.


As of right now quantum mechanics is something that is not useful for the average every day person. IF this is true, it means quantum mechanics plays an important role in biology. It would be like seeing the world in 2d, and then suddenly it becomes 3d to you. Many fields would be effected, new drugs to combat illness, the possibilities are limitless if quantum biology holds to be true.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 09:37 PM
link   

Originally posted by Americanist
reply to post by OccamsRazor04
 


And from there, it's either aliens or Elvis being alive... I've got a finger his ego can pull, so how about that?


Funny you should mention that, as smells is what we are talking about



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 09:38 PM
link   

Originally posted by ChaoticOrder
Something that smells good to one person may smell really bad to another person.


Interesting you mention that. My poop dont stink. At least not to me. I am sure it does to you. Your poop dont stink, at least not to you, but I am sure it does to me. I have often wondered why that is as it should have the same smell for all of us.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 09:53 PM
link   

Originally posted by OccamsRazor04

Originally posted by ChaoticOrder
Something that smells good to one person may smell really bad to another person.


Interesting you mention that. My poop dont stink. At least not to me. I am sure it does to you. Your poop dont stink, at least not to you, but I am sure it does to me. I have often wondered why that is as it should have the same smell for all of us.

lol my poop smells bad to me... I certainly don't have any urge to ingest it.


But yes it's a very complex subject. We need to consider evolutionary associations as well as individual associations developed during ones life time. We can even change our hard wired associations if we try hard enough.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 10:17 PM
link   

Originally posted by ChaoticOrder

Originally posted by OccamsRazor04

Originally posted by ChaoticOrder
Something that smells good to one person may smell really bad to another person.


Interesting you mention that. My poop dont stink. At least not to me. I am sure it does to you. Your poop dont stink, at least not to you, but I am sure it does to me. I have often wondered why that is as it should have the same smell for all of us.

lol my poop smells bad to me... I certainly don't have any urge to ingest it.


But yes it's a very complex subject. We need to consider evolutionary associations as well as individual associations developed during ones life time. We can even change our hard wired associations if we try hard enough.


If we can understand it, it might allow us to develop solar panels with greatly increased efficiency.
Mine is not pleasant to me, but it does not smell as bad as the poop of other people. If I go into the bathroom right after someone else takes a dump I sometimes gag if it's really bad. Yet I have no trouble sitting there in my 'stench' for extended periods of time. It doesn't smell pleasant, but definitely is not digusting like another persons.

Also, it appears photosynthesis might be a quantum effect. That is why it is so efficient.

The most established of the three is photosynthesis - the staggeringly efficient process by which plants and some bacteria build the molecules they need, using energy from sunlight. It seems to use what is called "superposition" - being seemingly in more than one place at one time.

Watch the process closely enough and it appears there are little packets of energy simultaneously "trying" all of the possible paths to get where they need to go, and then settling on the most efficient.
edit on 27-1-2013 by OccamsRazor04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 10:22 PM
link   
IMO one of the unique jobs smell does may be like an encrypted
password to important memories. When you receive
that certain scent no matter how many years later,
it unlocks a memory clip.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 10:22 PM
link   
(scratches head)

Ya know, it's also pretty well known that deuterated compounds often have distinct chemical differences beyond mere changes in their microwave/ir spectrum quantum mechanical behaviors.

The bond angles and lengths are different for deuterium than for hydrogen, for example. You get physical changes, too, like in shear and viscosity.

This is why deuterated water is toxic in big doses over long periods of time - it's incorporated into enzymes that then just won't fit your biochemistry, because they're mis-shaped or mis-folded.

So, it's a bit ODD to say they deuterated a compound and all that would have changed is the QM resonance spectrum. Yes, that will change, they'll drop in frequency. But the compound will also be shaped very slightly differently, and that fits the standard shape/receptor theory.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 10:23 PM
link   
reply to post by darkbake
 


They just look the other direction while the "pseudoscientists" claim they saw it...



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 10:32 PM
link   

Originally posted by Bedlam
(scratches head)

Ya know, it's also pretty well known that deuterated compounds often have distinct chemical differences beyond mere changes in their microwave/ir spectrum quantum mechanical behaviors.

The bond angles and lengths are different for deuterium than for hydrogen, for example. You get physical changes, too, like in shear and viscosity.

This is why deuterated water is toxic in big doses over long periods of time - it's incorporated into enzymes that then just won't fit your biochemistry, because they're mis-shaped or mis-folded.

So, it's a bit ODD to say they deuterated a compound and all that would have changed is the QM resonance spectrum. Yes, that will change, they'll drop in frequency. But the compound will also be shaped very slightly differently, and that fits the standard shape/receptor theory.


The idea for using deuterium came from the traditional camp, because shape is kept. The Quantum Biology side did not choose deuterium, the traditional side did. Both sides agree shape is kept.



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 10:56 PM
link   
reply to post by OccamsRazor04
 


You might inquire into why deuterated water is toxic, then. The bond angle difference for deuterated vs protium water is 0.1 degree - that adds up to "shaped wrong", albeit slightly. The more complex and larger the molecule, the bigger the net shape difference.

If you like, I have dozens upon dozens of scholarly cites. But you can get this yourself by going to google scholar and looking at "deuterium bond angle", or "isotope effect".

An example:



Soper explained that some of their results could be controversial, since they contrast with predictions. First, the scientists found that H2O has a longer intramolecular OH bond than D2O’s corresponding OD bond length. Specifically, the OH bond is longer by about 0.03 angstroms, or 3%. Second, the intermolecular hydrogen bond (which connects two separate molecules) is shorter in H2O than in D2O. Here, the difference is about 0.07 angstroms, or 4%. Neither of these differences in bond length had been predicted in previous studies. Further, because the OH/OD bond length difference and the hydrogen bond length difference are not equivalent (3% and 4%), there also exist geometrical differences between the structures of light and heavy water. While previous research had predicted an overall broadening of the H2O structure compared to the D2O structure, Soper and Benmore have pinpointed three specific differences, some of which are in opposition to earlier predictions. For one thing, the intermolecular OH peak is more asymmetric in H2O than D2O. Also, the distance between the hydrogen atoms on neighboring molecules is about 2% larger for H2O than in D2O. Finally, the number of hydrogen bonds per water molecule is less in H2O than in D2O (3.62 vs. 3.76). Together, these structural differences give light water a broader structure, and heavy water a narrower, more tetrahedral shape. Soper said that some of these unexpected results (such as the large degree of asymmetry in the hydrogen bond in H2O compared to D2O and the OH/OD bond length difference) may be contested by computer simulators. He also explained that the hydrogen bond length is caused by small electron movements that impact the proton (in hydrogen) or deuteron positions. Since the proton has a smaller mass than the deuteron, it sits higher in the quantum potential well (that holds the hydrogen atom) compared with the deuteron’s lower position in its potential well. “If that potential well is now perturbed by an approaching water molecule forming a hydrogen bond, then because the proton is higher in the well, it is more likely to be influenced by the approaching water molecule, drawing it away from the parent oxygen, more so than the deuteron, which is deeper in the well, and therefore less sensitive to perturbations from neighboring water molecules,” Soper said. This effect may play a role in the difference between the OH and OD bond lengths.


Link

What all that means is - there are differences in hydrogen bond strengths between deuterium bonds and hydrogen bonds. There are differences in bond angles and lengths, as well. This causes enzyme systems not to be able to function quite the same (bond strengths) and the shapes to be a bit off (angles and lengths). The larger and more complex (and more hydrogen bond-y) the molecule, the bigger the difference. It's not a HUGE amount, but it is a difference. And that also seems to fit the "larger molecule can be detected, smaller one cannot" data.
edit on 27-1-2013 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 11:06 PM
link   

Originally posted by Bedlam
reply to post by OccamsRazor04
 


You might inquire into why deuterated water is toxic, then. The bond angle difference for deuterated vs protium water is 0.1 degree - that adds up to "shaped wrong", albeit slightly. The more complex and larger the molecule, the bigger the net shape difference.

If you like, I have dozens upon dozens of scholarly cites. But you can get this yourself by going to google scholar and looking at "deuterium bond angle", or "isotope effect".
edit on 27-1-2013 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)


Heavy water is not toxic. Some animals can survive with near 100% heavy water intake. Humans would need to consume extremely large quantities for it to be toxic.
General Chemistry

The bond lengths and bond anglse of different kinds of water molecules are nearly the same

Clearly there is a difference. But as long as the shape is close enough to fit in the same receptors it doesn't matter. BOTH camps agree the shape is fine.
edit on 27-1-2013 by OccamsRazor04 because: (no reason given)





top topics
 
9
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join