What are biophotons and how were they discovered?
“Biophotons, or ultra weak photon emissions of biological systems, are weak electromagnetic waves in the optical range of the spectrum – in other words: light. All living cells of plants, animals and human beings emit biophotons which cannot be seen by the naked eye but can be measured by special equipment developed by German researchers.
This light emission is an expression of the functional state of the living organism and its measurement therefore can be used to assess this state. Cancer cells and healthy cells of the same type, for instance, can be discriminated by typical differences in biophoton emission. After an initial decade and a half of basic research on this discovery, biophysicists of various European and Asian countries are now exploring the many interesting applications which range across such diverse fields as cancer research, non-invasive early medical diagnosis, food and water quality testing, chemical and electromagnetic contamination testing, cell communication, and various applications in biotechnology.
According to the biophoton theory developed on the base of these discoveries the biophoton light is stored in the cells of the organism – more precisely, in the DNA molecules of their nuclei – and a dynamic web of light constantly released and absorbed by the DNA may connect cell organelles, cells, tissues, and organs within the body and serve as the organism’s main communication network and as the principal regulating instance for all life processes. The processes of morphogenesis, growth, differentiation and regeneration are also explained by the structuring and regulating activity of the coherent biophoton field. The holographic biophoton field of the brain and the nervous system, and maybe even that of the whole organism, may also be basis of memory and other phenomena of consciousness, as postulated by neurophysiologist Karl Pribram and others. The consciousness-like coherence properties of the biophoton field are closely related to its base in the properties of the physical vacuum and indicate its possible role as an interface to the non-physical realms of mind, psyche and consciousness.
The discovery of biophoton emission also lends scientific support to some unconventional methods of healing based on concepts of homeostasis (self-regulation of the organism), such as various somatic therapies, homeopathy and acupuncture. The “ch’i” energy flowing in our bodies’ energy channels (meridians) which according to Traditional Chinese Medicine regulates our body functions may be related to node lines of the organism’s biophoton field. The “prana” of Indian Yoga physiology may be a similar regulating energy force that has a basis in weak, coherent electromagnetic biofields.”
First discovered in 1923 by Russian medical scientist Professor Alexander G.Gurvich (who named them “mitogenetic rays”) and in the 1930s widely researched in Europe and the USA, biophotons have been rediscovered and backed since the 1970s by ample experimental and theoretical evidence by European scientists. In 1974 German biophysicist Fritz-Albert Popp has proved their existence, their origin from the DNA and later their coherence (laser-like nature), and has developed biophoton theory to explain their possible biological role and the ways in which they may control biochemical processes, growth, differentiation etc. Popp’s biophoton theory leads to many startling insights into the life processes and may well provide one of the major elements of a future theory of life and holistic medical practice based on such an approach. The importance of the discovery has been confirmed by eminent scientists such as Herbert Froehlich and Nobel laureate Ilya Prigogine. Since 1992, the International Institute of Biophysics, a network of research laboratories in more than 10 countries, based in Germany, is coordinating research in this field which promises rapid development in the next decade. “(1)
There are so many ramifications to the study of biophotonic emissions that it is difficult to elucidate at this time. Biophoton studies seem to indicate that the emission is coherent and that biophotons may be modulated and communicate information not only throughout the body but into the extended environment. It may be the process by which DNA actually communicates its information to protein molecules in the process of morphogenesis. It may have relevance to extra-sensory modes of communication with other life forms and explain many mysteries of life.
Here is a list of some of the properties and characteristics of biophotons so far discovered (2):
“Some steps in revealing important properties of biophotons are (1) careful measurements of the spectrum, (2) the analysis of the photo count statistics, (3) connecting the spontaneous and delayed “luminescence”, (4) investigations of the temperature dependence of biophotons and (5) correlating physical properties of biophoton emission and biological parameters such as growth, differentiation, DNA -content, and anomalies.
As far as results are available, a brief summary justifies at present the following statements:
· The spectral distribution of biophotons covers at least the range from 200 to 800 nm .
· The spectrum is not a line spectrum but rather flat, following approximately the rule f(w) = constant, where f describes the probability of occupying the phase space cells of energy . This is a significant difference from a closed system, where f(w) is the well-known Boltzmann distribution, where T is the absolute temperature .
· The probability of counting 0,1,2,…., n biophotons in a preset time interval Dt follows accurately a Poissonian distribution p(n,Dt) = exp (-) n/n! , where is the mean value of photon numbers n during the preset time interval Dt.
· This Poissonian probability distribution is fulfilled even in non-stationary biophoton emission. It holds to time intervals down to at least Dt of 10-5 s .
· Instead of following an exponential decay, delayed luminescence can be described rather accurately by a “hyperbolic relaxation” of the type A/(1+tz), where A and z are constant (including complex) values, while t is the time after external excitation .
· The temperature dependence follows a Curie-Weiss law rather than the Arrhenius factor .
· It is evident that at least a significant part of biophoton emission originates from DNA .
· There are manifold non-linear dependencies of biophoton emission on cell densities .
One of the leading researchers in this new field of biophotons is Fritz-Albert Popp of the International Institute of Biophysics (Biophotonics). Popp was one of those brilliant scientist who risked his career when he became interested in biophotons and there potential for healing. Experiments have even revealed that persons with deceased cells may be healed remotely by those who transmit coherent states of information via biophoton transmission.
Popp says, “Biophotons are photons emitted spontaneously by all living systems.1-3 In particular, this phenomenon is not confined to “thermal” radiation in the infrared range. It is well known at present that biophotons are emitted also in the range from visible up to UV. Actually, the intensity of “biophotons” can be registered from a few photons per second and square centimeter surface area on up to some hundred photons from every living system under investigation. The spectral distribution never does display small peaks around definite frequencies. Rather, the quite flat distribution within the range of at least 300 to 800 nm has to be assigned to a thermodynamical system “far away” from equilibrium, since the probability f(n)(see Footnote) of occupying the phase space is on average almost constant and exceeds the Boltzmann distribution in this spectral range by at least a factor of 1010(in the red) up to 1040 (in the UV-range). Fig. 1 displays a typical frequency distribution of a living system, where the spectral intensity of biophotons (at the outside of the living system) has been averaged over several measurements and then expressed in terms of the excitation temperatures (upper figures and lower, left figure) or the occupation probability f(n ) (lower right figure). The term “bio-” in biophotons has been introduced4 in the same way as it has been done in the term “bio-luminescence”, pointing to the biological source of the emission, and the term “photons” in the word ,,biophotons” has been chosen to express the fact that the phenomenon is characterized by measuring single photons, indicating that this phenomenon has to be considered as a subject of quantum optics rather than of “classical” physics.” (3)
Though biophoton emissions are weak and various instruments are needed to detect these biophotons, the possibility exists that it may give rise to methods of detecting extraterrestrial life forms and determining their vital signatures.
“Whereas an incoherent source relaxes according to an exponential relationship between light intensity and time of measurement, a coherent emission decays according to a hyperbolic relationship. Popp et al. and others have done considerable research to measure the kinetics of the decay of biological light emission from many organisms, with the result that almost all of the decay curves show a hyperbolic relationship. Although hyperbolic decay might also be observed for systems with a large number of independent emitters, Popp and Li10 maintain that under the particular conditions in which they have measured hyperbolic decay for light from organisms, the long-lasting hyperbolic decay observed for induced light emission is a sufficient condition for coherence.” (4)
It is possible that biophotons may even be carriers of psi information and that a coherent coupling can be established between two conscious life forms resulting in a transference of information from a higher potential field to a field at lower potential. Even though this is conjecture at this point, it suggests other means by which disparate life forms can communicate. We know there is a process by which trees communicate and even signal each other in the face of danger. We may be exchanging information with pets and other animals through biophotonic communication. This may be how some people who have a green thumb affect plants they care for. The possibilities have not been fully explored, but I suspect that biophotonics will be a growing science in the 21st century.