ProjectQuantum beat – A Quantum Beat for Life

Basic data

Quantum beat
A Quantum Beat for Life
1/1/2017 to 6/30/2018
Abstract / short description:
A quantum beat for life
Are photosynthetic organisms employing quantum effects to gain a benefit? This experiment wants to prove (or disprove) that life is not only embedded into Newtonian mechanics and thermodynamics but also reaches deep down into the world of quantum mechanics. A first demonstration of biologically relevant quantum phenomena in living orgnisms would be gretly beneficial for the entire field of quantum biology and the understanding of life in general. Quantum effects such as entanglement and coherence between photosynthetic pigments could be the key to the observed high quantum efficiencies. However, coherent energy transfer or entanglement of light harvesting complexes could not yet be demonstrated in living organisms. To address this fundamental question, the team wants to analyze and influence photosynthetic processes in vivo with a novel quantum optics approach under physiological conditions For this purpose, living individuals of the photosynthetic cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus marinus will be put in optical Fabry-Pérot microresonators. Only when microrensonator-induced quantum effects alter the photosynthetic activity in vivo, it can be concluded that they are of biological relevance for the organism.
quantum beat
life sciences
quantum biology
photosynthetic pigments
biological relevance

Involved staff


Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Institute of Physical Chemistry (IPTC)
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

Contact persons

Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science

Local organizational units

Plant Biochemistry Research Group at ZMBP
Department of Pharmacy and Biochemistry
Faculty of Science
Institute of Physical Chemistry (IPTC)
Department of Chemistry
Faculty of Science


Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany

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