Untangling the quantum tangle of photosynthesis


12/05/2010

Photosynthesis - the process of green plants convert sunlight into electrochemical energy, known to us from school. The future of green solar energy industry today is based on this known to every schoolboy process. Scientists from the University of California (University of California), first observed the process that lies at the heart of photosynthesis, called quantum entanglement.

Previous experiments conducted physical chemist Graham Fleming (Graham Fleming), demonstrated that quantum-mechanical effects are the key to understanding the ability of green plants through photosynthesis, almost instantly move energy from molecules that collect sunlight to molecules of electrochemical transformations. The new team, which also includes Graham Fleming, found that entanglement is part of the process of photosynthesis. When two quantum sized particles, for example, a pair of electrons, "coupled", any change in one will be displayed immediately on the other, it does not matter whether they are separated from each other. Although the particles are physically removed, they act as one unit.

"The first time it was demonstrated that entanglement is perhaps the most striking feature of the quantum-mechanical system, and is present throughout the system electro-chemical transformations" - said Mohan Sarovar (Mohan Sarovar), from the University of Berkeley (UC Berkeley), - " Although before this study were conducted on some of entanglement close to reality models, this is the first study of entanglement on living biological systems. "

The results of this study will be used not only in the development of artificial photosynthetic systems, in the field of renewable energy, waste-free sources of electricity, but also in the development of quantum technologies. For example, quantum computers can perform certain operations thousands of times faster than conventional computers.

"The lessons that we learn from quantum aspects of collecting sunlight in nature, can be used in the creation of artificial photosynthetic systems that are even better than natural" - said Sarovar - "Organic structures of light collection and their synthetic analogues, can also be of service in the development of quantum computers and other quantum devices, such as wires to transmit information.

The most significant contribution, this research has contributed, perhaps, to the exposure of the discrepancy in the scientific community, the views of the alleged fragility of the quantum coupling. The Berkeley researchers demonstrated that the clutch can stably exist in a chaotic environment biological systems.

Sarovar, together with the Flamingo, published a paper describing this research in the journal Nature Physics, titling it "Quantum entanglement in photosynthetic light collection systems" (Quantum entanglement in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes). Akihito Ishizaki (Akihito Ishizaki), is the co-author of and is included in Fleming’s research group.

Green plants and certain bacteria are able to move out of the collected light energy through a network of pigmented protein complexes with nearly 100% efficiency. Speed - is the key clues such efficiency - solar energy is moving so fast that the heating is spent very little energy. In 2007, Fleming’s research group reported the first empirical evidence that such an instantaneous energy transfer was made possible thanks to the amazing durability, the quantum wave-like clutch. Only our informers tell the news on the latest news.

Original: Sciencedaily.com


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