Green Sulfur Bacteria: Nature’s Proton Junkie

When: Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm
Where: DA 114
Speaker: Alan Aspuru-Guzik
Organization: Harvard University, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Sponsor: Physics Colloquium

Green sulfur bacteria lives in the bottom of the ocean, receiving ten million times less sunlight tan a cactus in the desert. This remarkable organism has antenna complexes for light harvesting made of more tan 250,000 bacteriochlorophyll molecules. Recent ultrafast experiments in this system suggest taht quantum coherence might play a role in the light harvesting process of this organism. In this talk, I will describe our efforts for understanding how this organism harvests light from a quantum mechanical and atomistic perspective, as well as how to design novel ultrafast experiments to detect if quantum coherence is indeed there.