Coherent Excitation in the Antenna Complex

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Science  16 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5426, pp. 349-350
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5426.349

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Photosynthesis is key to life on Earth, and the exact mechanisms by which light is harvested and converted into chemical energy remain the subject of intense research. Orrit (page 349) discusses the implications of a single molecule study by van Oijen et al. (page 400), which sheds light on the delocalization of excited states in the antenna complex that harvests and funnels light energy into the reaction center. Subtle structural distortions can also be discerned from the optical spectra, complementing information obtained from x-ray structures.