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Tue, 26 Nov 2019 10:37:22 +0100
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Tomorrow (November 27) at 3 p.m. the IFISC Colloquia on Complex Systems seminar series will continue with the seminar "Are there non trivial quantum effects in biology? A discussion from an open quantum system perspective" by Susana Huelga (Institute of Theoretical Physics and Centre of Quantum BioScience, Ulm University). The seminar can be followed by streaming on the web:


The development of multi-dimensional spectroscopy in the optical domain has facilitated probing ultra-fast time scales in the dynamics of different photosynthetic complexes. The observation of coherent behavior in this type of systems, which exhibit a significant degree of complexity and are subject to fast environmental decoherence, rises a number of pertinent questions. On the one hand, one needs to understand what the nature of that coherence is and identify the physical mechanisms that can lead to persistent oscillations in the spectral response as well as being consistent with available linear spectroscopy data. Moreover, should coherent dynamics extend over time scales comparable to those of energy/charge transfer processes, one would like to analyze the possibility that quantum coherence may either be directly relevant for biological function or have the possibility to be enhanced in biomimetic architectures.  In both situations, suitable quantitative figures of merit relating coherent dynamics and enhanced performance for a given task need to be provided.

In this seminar, I will revise recent theoretical work aimed at addressing these complementary questions and provide the state of the art of the field sometimes referred to as “Quantum Biology” from the perspective of an open quantum system approach.