Author Topic: Plants produce energy in a manner that can not be explained through physics  (Read 898 times)

Offline ChristConquers

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The majority of light-gathering macromolecules are composed of chromophores (responsible for the colour of molecules) attached to proteins, which carry out the first step of photosynthesis, capturing sunlight and transferring the associated energy highly efficiently. Previous experiments suggest that energy is transferred in a wave-like manner, exploiting quantum phenomena, but crucially, a non-classical explanation could not be conclusively proved as the phenomena identified could equally be described using classical physics.

Often, to observe or exploit quantum mechanical phenomena systems need to be cooled to very low temperatures. This however does not seem to be the case in some biological systems, which display quantum properties even at ambient temperatures.

Now, a team at UCL have attempted to identify features in these biological systems which can only be predicted by quantum physics, and for which no classical analogues exist.

Full article here : http://io9.com/new-evidence-that-plants-get-their-energy-using-quantum-1498695627
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Offline Maximilian

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Fascinating. Thanks for the post.

I had previously read some information about how photosynthesis happens through some of the "spookier" aspects of quantum mechanics. For example, the photons travel multiple paths simultaneously, but ultimately only end up at the one that turned out to be the fastest. That was just a sidelight, however, whereas you are dealing with the heart of the matter, how is energy converted.

Also fascinating when you think about it is that this is the source of all life on earth. Somehow plants capture energy from the sun. If you wanted to take a scientific approach to life, this is where you would start.

And we are clueless about how it works, primarily because the process is just too complex for us to understand. Even though it is the simplest building block of life, and the source from which everything else arises.
 

Offline Lydia Purpuraria

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Thank you for posting this.  It caught my eye being a horticulture major some time back and it will give me something interesting related to science to talk to my husband about (he is the science buff around here ;) ).  I just read the original link and haven't had a chance yet to read the whole article, but I plan to. 

A "little" off topic, but the mental picture I had of this "chromophore vibration resulting in energy transfer" (paraphrase) was how in the development of humans the cells that will become heart cells will all begin vibrating at the same time in unison, even before distinguishable as different parts of the heart.  Amazing!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 05:50:51 PM by Lydia Purpuraria »
 

Offline verenaerin

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Yes, I must concur with the OP. After I made oatmeal for my children, I started my morning conducting experiments on chromophysiology and its effect on lactic acid utilized by anaerobic metabolism. After painstakingly repeating my electrochromologic metasuperfantastic morpholgies, I have come to the same conclusion.

Clearly toddlers have come to harness the inexhaustible energy of plant life to supplement their own reserves. This allows them to cry for hours without exhaustion, nay, exhaustion actually fuels them further. In fact, they put banshees to shame. It is unlikely that we will ever figure out this connection in an effort to enforce nap time on 2 year olds. They are irrational and are ruthless in retaliation and torture. Sleep deprivation and ear shattering screams are their favorite tools.

New hypothesis-So do we rid the world of plants in an effort to tame the non sleeping toddler?