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Physics > Biological Physics

Title:Gain and loss in open quantum systems

Abstract: Photosynthesis is the basic process used by plants to convert light energy in reaction centers into chemical energy. The high efficiency of this process is not yet understood today. Using the formalism for the description of open quantum systems by means of a non-Hermitian Hamilton operator, we consider initially the interplay of gain (acceptor) and loss (donor). Near singular points it causes fluctuations of the cross section which appear without any excitation of internal degrees of freedom of the system. This process occurs therefore very quickly and with high efficiency. We then consider the excitation of resonance states of the system by means of these fluctuations. This second step of the whole process takes place much slower than the first one, because it involves the excitation of internal degrees of freedom of the system. The two-step process as a whole is highly efficient and the decay is bi-exponential. We provide, if possible, the results of analytical studies, otherwise characteristic numerical results. The similarities of the obtained results to light harvesting in photosynthetic organisms are discussed.
Comments: Quality of figures is improved; a few improvements in the text. Paper is published in Phys. Rev. E
Subjects: Biological Physics (physics.bio-ph); Chemical Physics (physics.chem-ph); Quantum Physics (quant-ph)
Journal reference: Phys. Rev. E 95, 062109 (2017)
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.95.062109
Cite as: arXiv:1702.08257 [physics.bio-ph]
  (or arXiv:1702.08257v2 [physics.bio-ph] for this version)

Submission history

From: Ingrid Rotter [view email]
[v1] Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:50:52 UTC (442 KB)
[v2] Fri, 9 Jun 2017 13:49:25 UTC (418 KB)