A little coherence in photosynthetic light harvesting

Jessica M. Anna, Gregory D. Scholes, Rienk Van Grondelle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


How could quantum mechanics possibly be important in biology We will discuss this question in the light of recent experiments that suggest that quantum mechanics - or at least coherence - is at play after photosynthesis is initiated by light. First, we give a brief description of light harvesting in photosynthesis. We follow this with an introduction to two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy, in which we demonstrate how this spectroscopic technique can be used to indicate coherent contributions to energy transfer dynamics. As a final point, we focus on the possible role that coherence may play in photosynthetic biological systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-25
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


  • coherence
  • energy transfer
  • femtosecond spectroscopy
  • light harvesting
  • photosynthesis


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