Good quantum vibrations helping photosynthesis


Quantum superpositions seem to be a key ingredient in photosynthesis.

Could it be that photosynthetic bacteria have, over millions of years of evolution, learned how to exploit quantum effects to improve the transport of the energy they captured from the sun? Namely, the superpositions offer a faster channelling of this energy across a rather labyrinthical part of the bacteria's photosynthetic complex, after which the energy will eventually be transformed into sugars, allowing the bacteria to grow.

How does noise-assisted quantum energy transfer actually take place in practise? This is what the FP7 FET project PAPETS – Phonon-Assisted Processes for Energy Transfer and Sensing is trying to underpin. Furthermore, it has established that similar effects take place in plants as well, in different parts of the photosynthetic process.