Spectroscopy in Barcelona & Bristol

Danceroom Spectroscopy is gonna be doing stuff in the next few months. We’re gonna be featured in Barcelona as part of the SONAR fringe. Then, we’ll be conducting some workshops with professional dancers and other experts in highly evolved forms of human movement at Bristol’s best-known contemporary art museum, the Arnolfini. Finally, it will culminate in a large (free!) public exhibition at the Arnolfini on 7 August, where they’re gonna let us rig their auditorium so that you can literally step into and interact with a visuals and sounds generated by quantum particle dynamics. Spread the word…

The physics of photosynthetic light harvesting

structure of light harvesting complex II membrane protein

On May 27-28 at the Kavli Royal Society Centre, I attended a stimulating conference on the microphysics and evolutionary adaptations that have resulted in the ability of plants and photobacteria to harvest energy from the sun. A corresponding focus of this area of research is on what aeons of natural evolution might teach humans as we attempt to engineer nano-materials to address our own planetary energy needs in an increasingly post-carbon economy. Chemical physicists who gave talks and with whom I had previous familiarity included Graham Fleming (UC Berkeley) and Greg Scholes (Toronto). And there were a number of other talks from biologists and materials physicists, including Seth Lloyd (MIT) and Richard Cogdell (Glasgow)… a recent review in Science touches on many of the issues in this fascinating and important research arena.