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Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series Information


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Understanding the quantum efficiency of light harvesting photosynthetic systems one photon at a time

Friday April 5, 2019
3:30 pm

 Presenter:  K. Birgitta Whaley, University of California, Berkeley
 Series:  Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
 Abstract:  Photosynthetic light harvesting of plants and bacteria in vivo is characterized by the remarkable capability of producing electron-hole pairs from absorbed photons with near unit quantum efficiency under weak illumination conditions. While ultrafast spectroscopic studies have revealed much insight into the microscopic dynamics of excitonic energy transport that follows the initial process of photoexcitation, the transduction of photon energy to individual electrons is still poorly understood. Following a review of the current state of understanding of quantum dynamics of energy transfer in light harvesting complexes, I shall present an integrated, fully quantum, theoretical description of the combined processes of single photon absorption and subsequent excitonic energy transfer. If time permits, I shall then discuss the use of heralded single photon sources to probe the microscopic mechanism of the overall transduction of photon energy to electron-hole pair formation in photosynthesis.
 Host:  Carlton Caves
 Location:  Room 125, Dane Smith Hall

Refreshments will be available before the colloquium, at 03:15 pm, in in the lobby of Dane Smith Hall.

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