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Seminar: Anthony J. Bell

  1. Date: July 14, 2017. 12:30
    Location: ROOM 15.34

    Affiliation: Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, UC Berkeley.

    Title: Probing the dynamical structure of matter with ICA: the case of water.


    Is water a passive thermally random medium or does it have electrodynamic coherence and form an photonic communication network underlying living processes? The latter idea, coming from quantum field theoretic calculations, seems outrageous and lacks direct experimental evidence. We use Near Infrared Spectroscopy and Independent Component Analysis (NIR/ICA) to probe liquid water structure and its constitutive absorbance/emission patterns. Recording N spectra we can resolve N independent absorbance patterns and their variation across recordings. Three are readily identified as the spectra of water vapor and two kinds of free (non-hydrogen bonded) water. The others are mostly complex patterns of absorbance in two regions UV/visible (100-800 nm), the region of 'biophoton’ emission, and 1300-1600nm, the so-called 'first overtone’ of water’s primary infrared vibration modes. These spectra signal complex heterogeneous electronic structure and macromolecular bondings in half of water’s volume. (We also show their temperature dependence which is largely linear). Altogether, this constitutes some of the strongest evidence to date that water spontaneously forms electrodynamically coherent macromolecular structures. Moreover, the differentiated heterogeneity (-9nm periodicity) of the relative absorbances indicate that different water structures can receive and emit complex patterns of photons in these very particular frequency bands, making water coherence domains like antennae that may selectively donate local electrons – somewhat like fast, reconfigurable enzymes with built-in wifi.

    The talk is interesting for neuroscientists because (1) it allows the consideration of challenging hypotheses about the organism’s basic operations, but also (2) because it demonstrates an unexploited non-invasive method for probing any sample, system or organism under any repeated mild perturbation, to reveal its structure/dynamic. We envisage diverse applications of this method.

  2. Host:

    Zachary Mainen