DOI: 10.14704/nq.2004.2.4.52

On the Cyclotomic Quantum Algebra of Time Perception

Michel Planat


I develop the idea that time perception is the quantum counterpart to time measurement. Phase-locking and prime number theory were proposed as the unifying concepts for understanding the optimal synchronization of clocks and their 1/f frequency noise. Time perception is shown to depend on the thermodynamics of a quantum algebra of number and phase operators already proposed for quantum computational tasks, and to evolve according to a Hamiltonian mimicking Fechner's law. The mathematics is Bost and Connes quantum model for prime numbers. The picture that emerges is a unique perception state above a critical temperature and plenty of them allowed below, which are parametrized by the symmetry group for the primitive roots of unity. Squeezing of phase fluctuations close to the phase transition temperature may play a role in memory encoding and conscious activity.


time perception, quantum algebra, clock, conscious, memory

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