Quantum entanglement in photosynthesis and evolution

College Park, MD (July 20, 2010) — Recently, academic debate has been swirling around the existence of unusual quantum mechanical effects in the most ubiquitous of phenomena, including photosynthesis, the process by which organisms convert light into chemical energy. In particular, physicists have suggested that entanglement (the quantum interconnection of two or more objects like photons, electrons, or atoms that are separated in physical space) could be occurring in the photosynthetic complexes of plants, particularly in the pigment molecules, or chromophores. The quantum effects may explain why the structures are so efficient at converting light into energy — doing so at 95 percent or more.

In a paper in The Journal of Chemical Physics, which is published by the American Institute of Physics, these ideas are put to the test in a novel computer simulation of energy transport in a photosynthetic reaction center. Using the simulation, professor Shaul Mukamel and senior research associate Darius Abramavicius at the University of California, Irvine show that long-lived quantum coherence is an “essential ingredient for quantum information storage and manipulation,” according to Mukamel. It is possible between chromophores even at room temperature, he says, and it “can strongly affect the light-harvesting efficiency.”

If the existence of such effects can be substantiated experimentally, he says, this understanding of quantum energy transfer and charge separation pathways may help the design of solar cells that take their inspiration from nature.

The article, “Quantum oscillatory exciton migration in photosynthetic reaction centers” by Darius Abramavicius and Shaul Mukamel will appear in The Journal of Chemical Physics. See: http://jcp.aip.org/

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Image Caption: Artistic depiction of pathways with a photosynthetic complex in the background.


The Journal of Chemical Physics

publishes concise and definitive reports of significant research in methods and applications of chemical physics. Innovative research in traditional areas of chemical physics such as spectroscopy, kinetics, statistical mechanics, and quantum mechanics continue to be areas of interest to readers of JCP. In addition, newer areas such as polymers, materials, surfaces/interfaces, information theory, and systems of biological relevance are of increasing importance. Routine applications of chemical physics techniques may not be appropriate for JCP. Content is published online daily, collected into four monthly online and printed issues (48 issues per year); the journal is published by the American Institute of Physics. See: http://jcp.aip.org/


The American Institute of Physics is a federation of 10 physical science societies representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators and is one of the world’s largest publishers of scientific information in the physical sciences. Offering partnership solutions for scientific societies and for similar organizations in science and engineering, AIP is a leader in the field of electronic publishing of scholarly journals. AIP publishes 12 journals (some of which are the most highly cited in their respective fields), two magazines, including its flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series. Its online publishing platform Scitation hosts nearly two million articles from more than 185 scholarly journals and other publications of 28 learned society publishers.

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2 thoughts on “Quantum entanglement in photosynthesis and evolution”

  1. Artificial Photosynthesis and Quantum Entanglement .(1)Notes by: Paolo Manzelli – [email protected] ; http://www.edscuola.it/lre.html ; http://www.wbabin.netAt the Quantum Bionet workshop (2) we will explore e quantum entanglement as a system that permits to understand some contemporarily challenges as for instance the working function of the chlorophyll molecules in light-harvesting photosynthesis in green plants.It is weel known that through photosynthesis green plants and cyanobacteria (also called blue-green-algae) are able to capture energy from sunlight and convert it into bio-chemical energy. To day the entanglement studies are advanced in exploiting quantum mechanical effects during the plants transfer energy from sunlight . In fact it is well established that green plants and certain bacteria are able to transfer the energy harvested from sunlight through pigment-protein complexes; the last are working as energy information antennas for improving simultaneity on exchange of information energy as it is made the chlorophyll complex that acts as reaction catalytic centre giving as result nearly 100-percent efficiency to energy conversion.Entanglement (3) is a quantum interconnection based on the overposition of two or more objects like photons, electrons, or atoms that before are separated in physical space. So that entanglement quantum effect can be seen as the responsible to obtain also the photosynthetic phenomena in plants, particularly through the pigment molecules, or chromophores that works as “Antenna Pigments” .One of the most recent scientific observation characterizes the Entanglement as a generalized critical quantum physical phenomenon till now hidden in the photosynthetic effect as some recent experimental contributions demonstrates with a confirmed reproducibility (4) .Light and Mirror Entanglement : http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/24285As a matter of facts when two quantum-sized particles, for example a pair of electrons, are “entangled,” any change to one will be instantly reflected in the other, in the field dimension of Information Energy .Therefore the future of Green Economy can be based on a clean green solar power production organizing an artificial photosynthesis mimicing the process by which green plants convert sunlight into electrochemical energy.So that at the 3° Quantimbionet Workshop we will stimulate the undersyanding contemporary challenges as the the development of advanced study of photosynthetic energy transfer, that consists on the understanding of the working function of ANTENNA PIGMENTS, in order to get the ability to fully comprehend how the energy-transfer system in artificial photosynthesis can works for improving future Green Economy .BIBLIO ON LINE (1)- P.Manzelli: http://www.wbabin.net/science/manzelli8.pdf (2)- Workshop : http://www.edscuola.it/archivio/lre/3rd_Quantumbionet_Workshop.pdf (3)– Visible entanglement : http://www.edscuola.it/archivio/lre/sole.pdf (4)http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2010/05/10/untangling-quantum-entanglement/ ; http://www.hplusmagazine.com/editors-blog/every-tree-quantum-mechanic ; http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/news_detail.cfm/news_id=16025PS. INVITATION to help to Undersyanding contemporary challenges.Change the world will become possible only by changing the mechanicistic ideas that are the intellectual cause to do so high devastation of the natural world during the industrial epoch.Developments on cognitive change and implementation of no mechanic ideas, as are necessary in order to promote the conceptual framework for renewal of Green Economy, will be discussed during the workshop that will be held in the ancient A. Volta classroom at the University of Pavia on 24 SETT/10.You are invited to attend.See : http://www.edscuola.it/archivio/lre/3rd_Quantumbionet_Workshop.pdf see also the explanatory memorandum in: http://www.wbabin.net/science/manzelli85.pdfGREEN -ECONOMY

  2. 1 is it possible to transmit information faster than the speed of light?
    2 is brain activity considered information?
    3 if so is it plausible for that information to travel faster than light?

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