2014 Fall Graduate Colloquium Series: Dmitri V. Voronine, Ph.D.

DateOctober 3, 2014Time3:35 - 5:00 pm
LocationBaylor Sciences Building, Room E.125
Dmitri V. Voronine, Ph.D.
Texas A&M University,
Baylor University

From Laser Physics to Quantum Biology

Quantum biology has been a rapidly growing field since the discovery of quantum coherence effects in the energy transfer process of the photosynthetic green sulfur bacteria and marine algae. However, neither the role of quantum coherence nor the precise mechanism of the highly efficient energy transfer has been identified. Quantum mechanics and thermodynamics have deep connections which govern the behavior of laser and photocell quantum heat engines. Quantum coherence may in principle enhance the output power and can be induced by a laser or by thermal noise. The question is whether the same principles can be used to understand the light harvesting efficiency in photosynthesis and to mimic Nature designs to build more efficient solar cells. In this talk, the history and recent progress in quantum biology will be reviewed. It will be shown that photosynthetic complexes such as light-harvesting antennae and reaction centers operate as quantum heat engines and their structure is suitable to provide an increase in the efficiency of light harvesting under natural conditions.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Ken Park 254-710-2282

PublisherDepartment of Physics
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