Studying the Functional Quantum Biology of Light-Harvesting Processes with Superconducting Circuits

18.04.2017, 14:00

 

Organizer:
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Marquardt Division

Title:
Studying the Functional Quantum Biology of Light-Harvesting Processes with Superconducting Circuits

Speaker:
Prof. Andreas Wallraff, ETH Zurich

Time, place:
Tuesday, 18th April 2017, 14:00h
Seminar Room A1.500, MPL, Staudtstr. 2, 91058 Erlangen

Abstract:
The high level of control achievable over quantized degrees of freedom have turned superconducting circuits into one of the prime physical architectures for quantum computing and simulation. I will begin this presentation with a brief introduction to the use of superconducting circuits in quantum information science. Then I will discuss a set of experiments in which we investigate the physical mechanisms underlying energy transfer processes in photosynthesis, the main source of energy in the animate world which converts sunlight into chemical energy. The surprisingly high efficiency of this process is believed to be enabled by an intricate interplay between the quantum nature of molecular structures in photosynthetic complexes and their interaction with the environment. Here we use engineered quantum circuits to study with unprecedented versatility functional aspects of the proposed models scaled down in energy by a factor of 10^5. In particular, we experimentally demonstrate that the excitation transport between quantum coherent sites disordered in energy can be enabled through the interaction with environmental noise. We show that the efficiency of the process is maximized for structured noise with scaled spectral properties found in the phononic environment of photosynthetic complexes.