by Gerald Huth on September 6, 2010

A piece from the New York Times of September 5,  “Computers as Invisible as Air” again highlights development by Hewlett Packard of the memristor concept as a new form of ultra fast computer memory.

I have written previously about this effect noting that it should form a part of the retinal receptor light interaction mechanism that is the basis for this work.

Specifically, a “memristor time lag” following the femtosecond time scale of the initial light interaction will result from the (dichroically correct !) transit of the absorbed light energy via  phonons (or, I believe, lossless solitons*) through the bilipid membrane of the thylakoid disk structures that form the body of retinal receptors. This energy eventually reaches the rhodopsin/retinal complex, the isomerization of which initiates formation of the electron particle event

Therefore, this memristor effect functions in light absorption at each light interaction site on the retina and, ultimately, is crucial to the formation of the spatial visual image…as I will discuss.

*Lossless solitonic energy transport would be the result of the presence of the correctly sized cholesterol molecule intercalated into the structure of biological lipid membrane as taught by Hans Kuhn in his “photon funnel” experiments. (for a review of these experiments see Blinov  “Physical Properties and Applications of Langmuir Monomolecular and Μultimolecular Structures”,  Russian Chemical Reviews, 52 (8), 1983)

A memory might be defined as any process as any process that causes a finite time lag in a signal transmission progression. This is the essence of the memristor effect (as I have previously discussed).

In the quantum, femtosecond time regime of light interaction with receptor outer segments the interim mass (i.e.,phononic) transport   of energy could be considered just such a “short term” memory.

Moreover, it would seem that such “time lag” effect would allow for aggregation over the retinal surface of the coherent information necessary to form the visual image. In this sense this function may provide a “time link” between the quantum and classical world.

One begins to see from all of this where this new model for light interaction may lead!

The following diagram attempts to summarize all of this…..

I had some time ago in 2008 shown a figure that portrayed this situation as follows:



Revised 9.8.10


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