• 4 minutes Phase One trade deal, for China it is all about technology war
  • 7 minutes IRAN / USA
  • 11 minutes Shale Oil Fiasco
  • 16 minutes Swedes Think Climate Policy Worst Waste of Taxpayers' Money in 2019
  • 12 hours Indonesia Stands Up to China. Will Japan Help?
  • 41 mins We're freezing! Isn't it great? The carbon tax must be working!
  • 24 hours Beijing Must Face Reality That Taiwan is Independent
  • 2 mins Trump capitulated
  • 3 hours Three oil pipeline projects inch toward goal-line for Canada
  • 8 hours The Libyan Oil in a Sea of Chaos, War and Disruptions
  • 1 day Gravity is a scam!
  • 2 hours Yet another Petroteq debt for equity deal
  • 1 day Trump has changed into a World Leader
  • 12 hours OIL & GAS LOSSES! Schlumberger Posts $10B Loss in 2019
  • 15 hours Prototype Haliade X 12MW turbine starts operating in Rotterdam
  • 1 day China's Economy and Subsequent Energy Demand To Decelerate Sharply Through 2024
  • 21 hours US Shale: Technology
  • 22 hours Iranian government can do everything to avoid attacking American people.
What’s Next For Oil? No One Seems To Agree

What’s Next For Oil? No One Seems To Agree

While many of the headlines…

Civil Unrest Threatens Miners Across The Globe

Civil Unrest Threatens Miners Across The Globe

Across the globe, civil unrest…

Out Of Pond Scum, Solar Panels

This really isn’t as much of a stretch as it sounds. It’s just a matter connecting the dots in ways that might seem counterintuitive.

Start with algae – pond scum – and end with solar panels. In the middle is a series of connections made by researchers at Australia’s University of New South Wales (UNSW) that demonstrates how algae, which rely on sunlight to achieve photosynthesis, are able to survive in low-light environments.

The algae do it through what’s known as quantum coherence, according to a UNSW paper published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And they conclude that if algae can absorb sunlight in a dark pond, so can man-made organic solar cells.

The UNSW team’s work is part of a new branch of science called quantum, or subatomic-scaled, biology, which has uncovered evidence that quantum phenomena can be found not only in a physics lab, but also in nature. For example, scientists are exploring whether birds’ use of the Earth’s magnetic field to navigate may be a quantum phenomenon.

UNSW physics Professor Paul Curmi, the senior author of the paper, said the focus of his study was the single-celled alga called a cryptophyte, which thrives on the floors of ponds, and even under thick ice, and therefore has little access to sunlight.

Related Article: China Might Be Winning The Race To Reduce Solar Costs

What Curmi’s team found was that some of these cryptophytes use quantum coherence to harvest light for photosynthesis. In others, though, a genetic mutation in a light-harvesting protein causes the quantum coherence to be switched off. By studying this, researchers can determine more precisely the role that quantum coherence plays by comparing and contrasting algae with and without these proteins.

The paper notes that a coherent organic system – in which all quantum waves are moving in tandem – can exist in more than one state simultaneously. In cryptophytes, Curmi says, such simultaneous multiple states increases the organism’s options for channeling light, even very dim light, to photosynthesis centers, and doing it quickly.

“It was [previously] assumed the energy gets to the reaction [center] in a random fashion, like a drunk staggering home,” Curmi says. “But quantum coherence would allow the energy to test every possible pathway simultaneously before traveling via the quickest route.”

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News