Laser Reveals the Hidden Lives of Biomolecules
December 05, 2012
All around and inside us, an elaborate dance of molecular vibrations is constantly taking place. From the water in your glass to the fluid surrounding your blood cells, molecules exchange energy with their environment. Large molecules, such as the heme group of hemoglobin, can respond with waving, saddling or ruffling motions, said Paul Champion, professor and chair of the Department of Physics. These motions, which can also be excited with a femtosecond laser pulse into so-called “non-stationary coherent states,” are the darlings of his research.