Biophysics pp 265-288 | Cite as

Mechanisms of Energy Transfer

  • Friedrich Dörr


The ultimate source of energy for all biological transformations is sunlight. Green plants, algae, and a few bacteria make use of the radiative energy in the visible wavelength range, from about 400 to 800 nm, for the synthesis of energyrich organic compounds, such as glucose, from simple inorganic molecules, essentially water and carbon dioxide. Glucose is the prototype of food for higher organisms. The overall reaction of photosynthesis is represented by
$$6\text{CO}_2 + 6\text{H}_2 \text{O + light} \to \text{C}_\text{6} \text{H}_{\text{12}} \text{O}_\text{6} \text{ + 6O}_\text{2}$$
The first important, and yet very complex, stage is the reduction of NADP+ and the phosphorylation of ADP to ATP with the release of molecular oxygen. In a subsequent chain of “dark reactions”, NADPH and ATP serve as energy sources for the reduction of CO2. (For details, and other photochemical processes of biological relevance, see Chap. 13.)


Energy Transfer Triplet State Internal Conversion Excited Molecule Transition Moment 
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Selected References

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

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  • Friedrich Dörr

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