We argue that the sensitivity of the ear reaches a limit imposed by the uncertainty principle. This is possible only if the receptor cell holds the detector elements in a special nonequilibrium state which has the same noise characteristics as a ground (T=0 K) state. To accomplish this "active cooling" the molecular dynamics of the system must maintain quantum mechanical coherence over the time scale of the measurement.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy