Thermal Stability of the Davydov Soliton

  • L. Cruzeiro-Hansson
  • P. L. Christiansen
  • A. C. Scott
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 243)


Although in the science of bioenergetics considerable progress has been made in the past 20 years, the storage and transport of energy in biological systems is not well understood. An answer to this problem was suggested in 1973 by Davydov, who proposed that quantum units of peptide vibrational energy (in particular the amide-I or C=O stretching vibration) might become ”self-localized” through interactions with lattice phonons1, 2. Following his original suggestion many related studies have been published by Davydov and his colleagues3 and by others4 on this ”Davydov soliton”. The question of the thermal stability of the Davydov soliton at biological temperatures has also been studied by Davydov, in a quantum mechanical framework5 and by others in classical simulations6, 7. Here results obtained following Davydov’s thermal treatment without any approximations are presented and the discrepancies between the latter and the classical simulations6, 7 are discussed. Finally, as a way to overcome the inconclusiveness of the latter approaches a search for exact dynamical solutions is proposed.


Soliton Solution Initial Excitation Classical Simulation Quantum Mechanical Treatment Generalize Langevin Equation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Cruzeiro-Hansson
    • 1
  • P. L. Christiansen
    • 2
  • A. C. Scott
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. CrystallographyBirkbeck CollegeLondonUK
  2. 2.Lab. Applied Mathematical PhysicsThe Technical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark

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