Leaf, Photosynthesis

In a new study, scientists have said that the molecules that are involved in the photosynthesis process exhibit the same quantum effects as the non-living matter. The study which was done by the International team of scientists which includes University of Groningen theoretical physicist Thomas la Cour Jansen.

The study which was published in Nature Chemistry on May 21st said that this is the first time that quantum mechanical behavior was proven to exist in the biological systems which are involved in the photosynthesis. The interpretation of the quantum physics effects in this process will help in developing the nature-inspired light-harvesting devices.

Leaf, Photosynthesis

This is the debate for many years in which it is all about the quantum effects in the biological systems. The main idea is about the electrons which are present in the two states until they are observed. This experiment is compared with “Schrodinger’s Cat.” In this experiment, the cat is locked in a box with a toxic substance and of the cap of the vial is locked with the quantum system; it will be open or closed. This shows that the cat is in a mixture of dead and alive till the box is open and then it observes. The electrons also show the same behavior.

In research, the researchers observed that the light-harvesting molecules in bacteria are in excited two states. This shows that there is involvement of quantum mechanical effects and the excited state last more than one picosecond. The researchers then tried another method in which they used different polarizations of light to perform the measurements in light-harvesting green Sulphur bacteria.

The observation results which are obtained from these experiments can be applied to different systems as both biological and non-biological. Jansen said, “This is an interesting observation for anyone who is interested in the fascinating world of quantum mechanics. Moreover, the results may play a role in the development of new systems, such as the storage of solar energy or the development of quantum computers.”

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