Energy Transfer Processes in Bioluminescence

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Abstract

Bioluminescence is the efficient conversion of chemical energy into visible light energy by biological systems. As a special case of chem-iluminescence (catalyzed by an enzyme), bioluminescence is closely related to fluorescence, differing only in the mechanism of excited state population. The relatively high efficiency of biological light production (i.e., low efficiency of heat production) is responsible for the term “cold light” frequently used to describe bioluminescence.