Exploring the effects of photon correlations from thermal sources on bacterial photosynthesis

Pedro D. Manrique, Felipe Caycedo-Soler, Adriana De Mendoza, Ferney Rodríguez, Luis Quiroga, Neil F. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Thermal light sources can produce photons with strong spatial correlations. We study the role that these correlations might potentially play in bacterial photosynthesis. Our findings show a relationship between the transversal distance between consecutive absorptions and the efficiency of the photosynthetic process. Furthermore, membranes where the clustering of core complexes (so-called RC-LH1) is high, display a range where the organism profits maximally from the spatial correlation of the incoming light. By contrast, no maximum is found for membranes with low core-core clustering. We employ a detailed membrane model with state-of-the-art empirical inputs. Our results suggest that the organization of the membrane's antenna complexes may be well-suited to the spatial correlations present in an natural light source. Future experiments will be needed to test this prediction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-960
Number of pages4
JournalResults in Physics
StatePublished - 2016


  • Photo-bunching
  • Photosynthesis
  • Purple bacteria
  • Spatial correlation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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