Browsing all articles tagged with photosynthesis

Quantum entanglement in real biological system

green plantsThe future of clean green solar power may well hinge on scientists being able to unravel the mysteries of photosynthesis, the process by which green plants convert sunlight into electrochemical energy. To this end, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) have recorded the first observation and characterization of a critical physical phenomenon behind photosynthesis known as quantum entanglement.

Previous experiments led by Graham Fleming, a physical chemist, pointed to quantum mechanical effects as the key to the ability of green plants, through photosynthesis, to almost instantaneously transfer solar energy from molecules in light harvesting complexes to molecules in electrochemical reaction centres. Now a new collaborative team that includes Fleming have identified entanglement as a natural feature of these quantum effects. Their work is published in the Nature Physics journal. When two quantum-sized particles, for example a pair of electrons, are entangled, any change to one will be instantly reflected in the other, no matter how far apart they might be. Though physically separated, the two particles act as a single entity.

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