A Biomagnetic Sensory Mechanism Based on Magnetic Field Modulated Coherent Electron Spin Motion

Klaus Schulten, Charles E. Swenberg, Albert Weiler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Electron transfer processes which generate radical pairs in coherent electron spin states (singlet or triplet) are affected by weak magnetic fields [Schulten et al, Z. physik. Chem. Neue Folge 101 (1976) 371]. Based on this finding we suggest a reaction mechanism for a chemical compass which exhibits a sensitivity on the orientation of the geomagnetic field originating from an anisotropy of the hyperfine interaction experienced by unpaired electron spins in a redox process. It is argued that such mechanism may explain the ability of many biological species to orient themselves inthe geomagnetic field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalZeitschrift fur Physikalische Chemie
Volume111
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1978

Keywords

  • Biomagnelism
  • Electron spin states
  • Hyperfine interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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