Light and photosynthesis
24 October 2012
Join us for this special lecture by Dr Min Chen as part of the 50th birthday celebrations for the School of Biological Sciences.
Sunlight is a free energy source and photosynthesis is the most important chemical reaction on Earth. Sunlight has proved inexhaustible over geological time and the amount radiating onto the earth's surface vastly surpasses the biological energy needs of all life forms on earth, including man, animals and plants.
Photosynthesis is the biological process that uses solar energy to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and convert them into energy-rich organic carbon, to provide the energy for most life forms on earth, and to generate the oxygen (O2) we breathe.
Harvesting the sun is, increasingly, becoming an option for sustainable energy for mankind's needs: directly by improving biomass production of photosynthetic organisms, indirectly by coupling it to the production of hydrogen fuel or, conceptually, by using photosynthetic strategies for technological solutions based on non-biological or hybrid materials.
In the lecture, I will discuss the natural photosynthetic processes and the varieties and modifications to this process which enable the maximal use of sunlight. Including the implications for technological development arising from novel photopigments that extend the usable spectral range.
Location: Macleay Museum
Contact: Cecily Oakley
Phone: 02 9351 4543