University of East Anglia
A QED Perspective on Molecular Photonics
Physical scientists generally agree that light is made of the quanta we know as photons. Amongst much else, our understanding of all molecular spectroscopy, photochemistry and photophysics hinges on this view. But curiously, textbooks often mix together quantum and classical descriptions, and even recently the latter still persist in many reports on research. This lecture aims to show the difference it makes, keeping the photon concept and its interaction mechanisms in central view. Numerous examples - drawn from the fields of energy transfer, optical tweezers and molecular chirality, to name but a few - show that this approach provides very different insights into key optical mechanisms. It has also allowed the correct prediction of novel and newly significant processes, some never before conceived in a classical perspective.