Do vibrations give us the ability to smell?

01/28/2013 | New Scientist

Humans may be able to detect smells because of vibrating molecules that trigger a quantum tunneling effect, a finding that reopens debates over how we smell. The theory flies against the more commonly held view that humans detect smell when a scent molecule reaches a similarly shaped receptacle in the nose, unlocking that smell. New evidence comes from scientist Luca Turin, who first proposed the quantum theory in 1996, and is based on an experiment using larger scent molecules.

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