Quantum Capture: Photosynthesis tries many paths at once | Science News

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Quantum Capture: Photosynthesis tries many paths at once

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12:03pm, April 11, 2007

Quantum physics plays a larger role than scientists had expected in plants' capture of light. New findings could explain life's uncannily efficient use of solar energy, researchers say.

In organisms ranging from blue algae to giant sequoias, complicated assemblies of molecules of the pigment chlorophyll absorb sunlight's photons and channel their energy to enable the plants to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugars.

The efficiency of photosynthesis, as this process is called, has long astounded scientists. Virtually every photon absorbed by chlorophyll init

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