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(BBC)   Schrödinger's catbox?   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 20
    More: Interesting, quantum, deuterium, Nature Neuroscience, vibrations, Cardiff University, quantum tunnelling, National Academy of Sciences, blind experiment  
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5131 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Jan 2013 at 7:55 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-28 07:52:50 AM  
Reading the BBC article started causing brain damage. I skipped tho the PLOS One article, and it got better. But for all that they're, "Oh, it's totally because of the vibrational modes!" I love this little caveat: Another possibility might be that the odor difference, while not due to impurities, is caused by some subtle physicochemical difference common to deuterated musks, which is interpreted by the olfactory system as a burnt character. There is no question that small differences do exist between deuterium and hydrogen compounds.

Sooooo... it could still just be mundane chemistry. And given how large most odor molecules are, and how large the cells in the olfactory system are, I'm going to go with the "it's chemistry" theory.
 
2013-01-28 08:00:36 AM  
CATPOOP THREAD!!!!!1

... or... not.
 
2013-01-28 08:08:33 AM  

xanadian: CATPOOP THREAD!!!!!1

... or... not.


blog2.sweetcitycandy.com

sure, why not?
 
2013-01-28 08:09:36 AM  
What does a cat that may or maynot be dead trapped in a box smell like?
 
2013-01-28 08:10:03 AM  
The first time I heard of "quantum smell" was in relation to consciousness. Because both quantum mechanics and consciousness aren't understood fully, of course means they are connected. Until proven otherwise, the human mind is a result of biochemical processes. The ever shrinking God of the Gaps must be frustrating for some people.
 
2013-01-28 08:21:33 AM  
Imagine a catbox that is both smelly and empty at the same time....
 
2013-01-28 08:25:09 AM  

t3knomanser: Reading the BBC article started causing brain damage. I skipped tho the PLOS One article, and it got better. But for all that they're, "Oh, it's totally because of the vibrational modes!" I love this little caveat: Another possibility might be that the odor difference, while not due to impurities, is caused by some subtle physicochemical difference common to deuterated musks, which is interpreted by the olfactory system as a burnt character. There is no question that small differences do exist between deuterium and hydrogen compounds.

Sooooo... it could still just be mundane chemistry. And given how large most odor molecules are, and how large the cells in the olfactory system are, I'm going to go with the "it's chemistry" theory.


Exactly. I mean we all know there are quantum effects underlying chemical processes but this desire by lots of sort of "fringe" type scientists to shoehorn quantum mechanics into any conceivable macro-scale biological process is quite annoying. And if they acknowledge right in the paper that there are scent differences between hydrogen and deuterium compounds, why in the hell would it be considered a good experimental set up?
 
2013-01-28 08:28:32 AM  

MyEnamine: The ever shrinking God of the Gaps must be frustrating for some people.


Indeed.

And don't even get me *started* on the God of the Banana Republics...
 
2013-01-28 08:47:02 AM  
This isn't the first time I've seen Luca Turin's name mentioned. Hold your nose for this one.
 
2013-01-28 09:14:00 AM  

t3knomanser: Reading the BBC article started causing brain damage. I skipped tho the PLOS One article, and it got better. But for all that they're, "Oh, it's totally because of the vibrational modes!" I love this little caveat: Another possibility might be that the odor difference, while not due to impurities, is caused by some subtle physicochemical difference common to deuterated musks, which is interpreted by the olfactory system as a burnt character. There is no question that small differences do exist between deuterium and hydrogen compounds.

Sooooo... it could still just be mundane chemistry. And given how large most odor molecules are, and how large the cells in the olfactory system are, I'm going to go with the "it's chemistry" theory.


It might be chemistry, but I wouldn't call it mundane. The only other way to test for this would be to have subjects smell molecules that are under constant bombardment with IR light... and I mean shining the IR source right up into your nostrils to make sure the molecular bonds are in their excited vibrational states. Deuterium vibrates slower in its ground state. The only other chemical effect (not related to physics of electron tunneling) would be a sort of kinetic isotope effect, which would rely on a molecule protonating the olefactory sensors. I'd be surprised if we smell via an acid-base reaction, as we can clearly smell some molecules with extremely high pKas, such as gasoline components and benzene.

I suppose it could also be due to Raman scattering, which would be very interesting, but stereoelectronic interactions are more likely the culprit. Actually, now that I think of it, a C-D bond is a tiny bit shorter than a C-H bond because of the vibrational effect, so that gap would have very miniscule effect on the shape of the molecule.
 
2013-01-28 09:28:55 AM  

xanadian: CATPOOP THREAD!!!!!1

... or... not.


dilbert.com
dilbert.com
 
2013-01-28 10:22:32 AM  

Tommy Moo: t3knomanser: Reading the BBC article started causing brain damage. I skipped tho the PLOS One article, and it got better. But for all that they're, "Oh, it's totally because of the vibrational modes!" I love this little caveat: Another possibility might be that the odor difference, while not due to impurities, is caused by some subtle physicochemical difference common to deuterated musks, which is interpreted by the olfactory system as a burnt character. There is no question that small differences do exist between deuterium and hydrogen compounds.

Sooooo... it could still just be mundane chemistry. And given how large most odor molecules are, and how large the cells in the olfactory system are, I'm going to go with the "it's chemistry" theory.

It might be chemistry, but I wouldn't call it mundane. The only other way to test for this would be to have subjects smell molecules that are under constant bombardment with IR light... and I mean shining the IR source right up into your nostrils to make sure the molecular bonds are in their excited vibrational states. Deuterium vibrates slower in its ground state. The only other chemical effect (not related to physics of electron tunneling) would be a sort of kinetic isotope effect, which would rely on a molecule protonating the olefactory sensors. I'd be surprised if we smell via an acid-base reaction, as we can clearly smell some molecules with extremely high pKas, such as gasoline components and benzene.

I suppose it could also be due to Raman scattering, which would be very interesting, but stereoelectronic interactions are more likely the culprit. Actually, now that I think of it, a C-D bond is a tiny bit shorter than a C-H bond because of the vibrational effect, so that gap would have very miniscule effect on the shape of the molecule.


You all fail to see the bigger picture. These are respected scientists that are saying that vibrations of molecules might cause smell. This obviously means that homeopathy is right and that western medicine is really just addictive poisons fed to us by corporate controlled narco-state. Wake up!
 
2013-01-28 10:22:48 AM  
Still no cure for anosmia.
 
2013-01-28 10:25:32 AM  

SpdrJay: Imagine a catbox that is both smelly and empty at the same time....


I don't have to imagine that. My cat produces both zeroes and ones.
 
2013-01-28 10:38:25 AM  
FTA: Tantalisingly, the idea hints at quantum effects occurring in biological systems - an idea that is itself driving a new field of science, as the BBC feature article Are birds hijacking quantum physics? points out.

Oh, birds. I thought they were going to mention photosynthesis.
 
2013-01-28 10:45:10 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-01-28 12:19:54 PM  

wingnut396: You all fail to see the bigger picture. These are respected scientists that are saying that vibrations of molecules might cause smell. This obviously means that homeopathy is right and that western medicine is really just addictive poisons fed to us by corporate controlled narco-state


...and scientists who don't publish results that we can misinterpret into supporting our own personal woo-genda.
 
2013-01-28 07:32:43 PM  
*emits quantum fart*

/walks away smiling
 
2013-01-28 10:58:05 PM  
Seems pretty straightforward. If the C-H vibrational frequencies have an effect on the way a substance smells, then just try the tritiated analogues. Since tritium is even heavier than deuterium, the vibrational effects should be even further amplified. Now who wants to smell the radioactive stink gas?
 
2013-01-29 03:33:26 AM  

Kittypie070: *emits quantum fart*

/walks away smiling


Jesus christ, did someone feed the cat cheese again?!
 
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