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Department News and Colloquium

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium at CSU Long Beach

Why Are Terrestrial Plants Green?

And Other Essential Questions About Emerging Quantum

Optoelectronic Technologies

Nathaniel Gabor

University of California Riverside

April 24, 2017
Time: 11:15am
Refreshments at 10:45am

While there is remarkable potential that photosynthetic systems harness quantum mechanical effects, the exact relationship between structure and the properties of quantum states remains a topic of vigorous debate. Recently, the concept of a quantum heat engine (QHE) has emerged as an important tool in understanding subtle relationships between form and function in nanoscale quantum systems. In this talk, I describe a new paradigm – based on internal energy fluctuations in a QHE photocell – that attempts to describe highly efficient light energy harvesting in complex quantum structures. By understanding the connection between electronic structure and energy fluctuations, I describe a natural regulation mechanism that emerges from quantum structure alone. Beyond gaining a deeper understanding of quantum optoelectronics, the natural regulation process promises to have applications across various disciplines ranging from quantum nanoscience to bionanoscience and astrobiology. Natural regulation may also explain the predominance of green plants on Earth.

All Physics students & faculty should attend!

See the colloquium schedule and its archive of previous talks

Colloquia are scheduled to start Mondays at 11:15am sharp in Peterson Hall 2, Room 126 (PH2-126). Refreshments are served from 10:45am to 11:05am in Room HSCI-224 (next to the department office) and everyone is invited to mingle with faculty and students!


For information and suggestions about the colloquium please contact the colloquium coordinator:
Prof. Prashanth Jaikumar, Phone: 562-985-5592, Email:

Directions to Campus

  • Access to Campus
  • Campus Maps
  • Parking on campus: contact the coordinator of the colloquium. If not reachable, call the department office (562) 985-7925. If none of these are available at the time you need information, call (562) 985-4146 or go to the drive-through information booth at the main campus entrance (on Beach Drive, near the crossing to Bellflower).
  • Walk (or ask for a ride on an on-campus shuttle) to the department office: Hall of Sciences, Room 220 (HSCI-220). The coordinator will provide the necessary informations.
  • Any question or problem: call the colloquium coordinator or the department office (562) 985-7925.

Colloquia Sponsors:

We acknowledge with gratitude donations and support from the following present sponsors:

  • H.E. and H.B. Miller and Family Endowment
  • Benjamin Carter
  • The American Physical Society
  • Anonymous

We also acknowledge with gratitude our past donors: The Forty-Niner Shops, Inc., The Northrop Grumman Foundation, Sandra Dana, Anonymous.

If you wish to support the Colloquium, please contact the colloquium coordinator or the department chair. Thank you!

Colloquia Schedule

Academic Year 2016-2017

Date Title Speaker and Affiliation
February 13 Dark Matter in the Cosmic Context Dr. Katherine J. Mack,
University of Melbourne, Australia
February 20 Quark Matter in Neutron Stars Dr. Thomas Klaehn
University of Wroclaw, Poland
February 27 Is the Higgs Elementary or Composite? Dr. Daniel Nogradi,
Eotvos University
March 6 Wiring up Biology: Natural and Bioinspired Materials for Long-Range Electronic Transport Allon I. Hochbaum,
University of California, Irvine
March 13 Student Learning in the Upper-division: Difficulties and Assessment Qing Ryan,
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
April 3 Random Walk to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory:Opportunities and Interactions in Materials Science R. Peter Dillon,
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
April 10 Allosteric Regulation of Integrin Adhesion Receptors Tobias Ulmer,
University of Southern California
April 17 Large shift current generation in two-dimensional Ferroelectrics Benjamin Fregoso,
Kent State University
April 24 Why Are Terrestrial Plants Green? And Other Essential Questions About Emerging Quantum Optoelectronic Technologies Nathaniel Gabor,
University of California Riverside