Susana Huelga: “Coherent Effects in Biological Processes” IFIMAColloquium 13/03/2024

“Coherent Effects in Biological Processes: A Case Study in the Dynamics and Response of Open Quantum Systems”. The inquiry into non-trivial quantum effects in biological systems has persisted since the inception of quantum mechanics. Recent experiments utilizing non linear ultrafast spectroscopy of molecular aggregates have reignited this discussion. In this seminar, we will delve into recent research conducted within our group aimed at characterizing the possible origin and nature of coherent oscillations observed in the spectral response of pigment protein complexes (PPCs). These complexes serve as the fundamental components in light-induced reactions, crucial for processes ranging from photosynthesis to vision. We will explore the methodologies employed, which span from quantum master equations to tensor network simulations, to dissect the intricacies of PPC dynamics. This examination will highlight the significant challenges in establishing a quantitative connection between experimental data and underlying theoretical models. Furthermore, we will investigate the application of resource theories, rooted in the formalism of quantum information theory, to offer a complementary perspective on this enduring debate.

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