One important question about vision has to do with the number of photons required for seeing. The question has to be refined, because an immediate problem arises in deciding where these photons must be absorbed. Do they all have to be absorbed in the same rod (cones are neglected, since we know they are used for high light-intensity vision)? Can a single rod effectively absorb more than one photon in any arbitrarily short time interval? Do rods or groups of rods cooperate in vision? Do they cooperate in experiments to determine the minimum number of photons that may be detected?

One of the problems which perturb biophysicists is the reason for the size and shape of biological structures. In this category comes the question of why we have a concave retina. In the early 1800's, one Johannes Müller was trying to figure out the answer to this question, and in speculating on the problem he remarked on some interesting aspects.

Quantum physics teaches us that we may talk about radiant energy as traveling either as waves in space or as discrete packages called either photons or quanta. When radiation impinges on matter, it has a probability of being absorbed which depends on (1) the energy in the photon (or its equivalents in wave terms: the wavelength or the frequency of the light), and (2) the nature of the matter.

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