G18.00002. New horizons in quantum biology: Plasmon, exciton, and phonon correlations in complex biomolecular systems

Presented by: Philip Kurian


Sponsoring Units: GSNP Chair: Clarice Aiello Slides: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZyyhozSr18MiC4ZMS5dhQgNLN572cuf4 The emergence of supramolecular complexes, biological polymers, and hybrid quantum information processing assemblies from fundamental constituents and interactions involves a delicate interplay between forces of disorder (chaos) and order (logos). Quantum behaviors including electron dispersion, superradiance, and optical-to-phonon transduction have risen to the surface of our nano-, meso-, and macro-scopic perception within the open systems of biology. Extended, many-body van der Waals effects are implicated in the uncanny ability of certain enzymes to synchronize catalysis, and ultraviolet photoexcitations in large (L >> λ), highly symmetrical aggregates reveal collective, cooperative, and coherent properties that are within observational reach (few-picosecond) of ultrafast spectroscopy experiments. Intriguingly, the aqueous environment--matrix of life--challenges purely Brownian descriptions and conspires with biomatter in the precise spatiotemporal orchestration of diverse processes within the living organism. The tantalizing possibility that such ubiquitous quantum phenomena in biology can be exploited in vivo would herald a new era for diagnostic and therapeutic applications in medicine, particularly in complex neurodegenerative diseases without clear biochemical targets.


  • Philip Kurian


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