Colloquium: Alexandra Olaya-Castro, University College London

12/07/2011

16:00

Vrije Universiteit, W&N building, Q112, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam

Quantum Coherence in Photosynthesis: Facts, Fiction and Challenges

Alexandra Olaya-Castro

Faculty of Sciences

Sciences

Lecture

Quantum Coherence in Photosynthesis: Facts, Fiction and Challenges

Alexandra Olaya-Castro, University College London 

In his book Solar, the British author Ian McEwan writes “coherence in photosynthesis is nothing new but we now know where to look and what to look at”.  Is there any truth in this scientific remark appearing in a fictional book? The idea that quantum superpositions can survive in 'hot’ and ‘wet’ molecular components of the photosynthetic apparatus of various organisms has generated a tremendous interest in a wide variety of scientific and non-scientific communities. In this talk I would like to discuss the facts supporting claims of quantum coherence in photosynthesis, the fictional stories it has generated, but most importantly, the opportunities and scientific challenges imposed by the aim of probing the fundamental quantum nature of the dynamics of such bimolecular systems.