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Quantum effects in photosynthesis

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  • UserAlexandra Olaya-Castro (UCL)
  • ClockFriday 24 March 2017, 12:00-13:00
  • HousePhysics East 217.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Giovanni Barontini.

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, algae and some bacteria use sunlight to initiate the chemical reactions that sustain life processes. It is well known that the primary energy transfer and conversion steps in photosynthetic complexes rely on quantum mechanical phenomena. For instance, excitons or the collective electronic excitations of light-havesting complexes are a clear manifestation of collective electronic quantum behaviour of the chromophores that form these supra-molecules, and they are essential for optimal absorption of sunlight. However, it is not entirely clear how quantum coherence will affect the energy dynamics in photosynthetic complexes. In this talk, I will discuss our research on quantum aspects of the primary steps of photosynthesis. Our work focusses on the quantum interactions between electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom and in how such interactions manifest themselves in counting statistics processes of photons and phonons as well as in quantum thermodynamic features of the energy transfer and conversion process.

This talk is part of the Cold atoms series.

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