Posts Tagged ‘radical pairs’

Avian navigation

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A wealth of evidence suggests that magnetic compass of migratory birds is light dependent, with the eye involved in the sensing of the compass direction. Experiments with oscillating magnetic fields show that these can disrupt the behaviour of migratory birds. Studies showed that the ratio between singlet and triplet products in cryptochrome protein can be modulated by the Earth’s magnetic field.

European robin migration

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Bird migration may be facilitated by an ability to see and navigate the Earth’s magnetic field. The process is suggested as being started by light entering a bird’s eye. Light would excite two electrons of a molecule in the bird’s eye in such a way that one electron was moved to another molecule. However, the two electrons would remain quantum entangled despite being separated. This means that a change in the spin or magnetic orientation of one electron would immediately alter the spin of its entangled partner.