Are microtubules macroscopic quantum systems?
There has been a lot of buzz about the claimed discovery of quantum vibrations in microtubules: see this. I have been working for two days trying to understand the work of Anirban Bandyopadhyay. Certainly, the experimental finding- if true - would be a breakthrough for quantum consciousness but certainly not for Orch-OR. Therefore I was surprised for the heavy hyping of Penrose-Hameroff theory. The result only tells that microtubules are macroscopic quantums systems, it says nothing about Orch-OR.
I did not find any article about experiment. I found and listened the earlier talk (2111) of Anirban Bandyopadhyay whose group might discovered the quantum vibrations. The talk was also was about experiments done with microtubules and looked very interesting. See this .
I got the impression that he is excellent sharply thinking experimentalist and had identified the signatures for what he interpreted in terms of Froehlich B-E condensation, topological qubit, superconductivity like state of electrons inside microtubules, and so on. One can interpret the findings differently and I have been working with TGD interpretation assuming that basic findings are correct.
What was frustrating was the fuzzy terminology: for instance, he talked about conduction pathways at micro tubular surface as topological qubits and did not explain when asked about this issue. Excellent experimentalist need not be a theorist: was this the reason? Or was the unclarity purposeful?
Also the interpretation of experiments seems to be internally inconsistent and I got the impression that it reflects his own theories. It might rely on the earlier proposal of Penrose and Hameroff, which I did not find as freely available article. The only article mentioning conduction pathways that I found from web did not help: I have the feeling that they have no detailed model but want to give the impression that they have.
The wrong interpretation need not mean catastrophe: as a good experimentalist he is looking for signatures of these phenomena, and if he has found them, there are all reasons to take the findings under serious discussion.
I also looked for the Penrose Hameroff theory. As a professional I known that the Penrose's contribution relating to speculations about gravitation does not tolerate daylight and the only calculations are just dimensional analysis involving Uncertainty Principle. I had thought that Hameroff's microtubule contribution is on less shaky grounds. I learned within few hours that this is not the case. For instance, the assumption that microtubules in brain are of type A, is simply wrong: all microtubules in living matter seem to be of type B, in particular in brain this is the case. See this .
Therefore the proposal of Penrose and Hameroff for microtubules as topological quantum computers relying on Fibonacci conduction paths (with periodicity 3,5,8, or 13) possible only for A-type microtubules is simply wrong. The same is true about Hameroff's and indian theorists Gupta's later proposal suggesting that MAPs act as quantum gates. As a matter of fact, the abstract of the article contained horrible terminological errors: I tried to explain this by language but why Hameroff did not check the language? See this .
Now Penrose and Hameroff propose explanation for the origin of EEG based on beat phenomenon for MHz frequencies: it seems that they are trying to mimic what I have done in TGD and get the honour for discovering quantum theory of consciousness;-).
I must say that I am confused. Certainly the discovery that microtubules are macroscopic quantum systems would be wonderful if true, and the claimed earlier findings of Indian experimentalist support the TGD based picture based on the identification of braids as magnetic flux tubes. But can I trust to experimentalist without name when I cannot trust on namy theorists?
To sum up, these are my first impressions after two day's listening and reading. I might have misinterpreted and misunderstood. I am writing a summary about TGD based interpretation of the earlier experiments of the group of Bandyopadhyay -assuming that experimental findings are correct (I do not believe that the interpretation is correct) - and give a link to the article later.
Addition: I wrote a short analysis of the talk of Bandyopadhyay.