The Biophysics of Photosynthesis

  • John Golbeck
  • Art van der Est

Part of the Biophysics for the Life Sciences book series (BIOPHYS, volume 11)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Light Energy Capture and Energy Transfer

  3. Underlying Principles of Electron Transport

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-119
    2. Christopher C. Moser
      Pages 121-139
    3. Isaac F. Céspedes-Camacho, Jörg Matysik
      Pages 141-170
  4. Separation and Stabilization of Charge

  5. Donor Side Intermediates and Water Splitting

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 297-297
    2. K. V. Lakshmi, Christopher S. Coates, Stuart Smith, Ruchira Chatterjee
      Pages 299-320
  6. Evolution of the Photosynthetic Apparatus

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 381-381
    2. Alexander N. Melkozernov
      Pages 383-432
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 451-462

About this book


The volume is intended as an introduction to the physical principles governing the main processes that occur in photosynthesis, with emphasis on the light reactions and electron transport chain. A unique feature of the photosynthetic apparatus is the fact that the molecular structures are known in detail for essentially all of its major components.  The availability of this data has allowed their functions to be probed at a very fundamental level to discover the design principles that have guided evolution.  Other volumes on photosynthesis have tended to focus on single components or on a specific set of biophysical techniques, and the authors’ goal is to provide new researchers with an introduction to the overall field of photosynthesis.

The book is divided into sections, each dealing with one of the main physical processes in photosynthetic energy conversion. Each section has several chapters each describing the role that a basic physical property, such as charge or spin, plays in governing the process being discussed. The chapters proceed in an orderly fashion from a quantum mechanical description of early processes on an ultrafast timescale to a classical treatment of electron transfer and catalysis on a biochemical timescale culminating in evolutionary principles on a geological timescale.


Charge separation Electron transport Energy conversion Exciton transfer Water splitting

Editors and affiliations

  • John Golbeck
    • 1
  • Art van der Est
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Department of ChemistryThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Dept of ChemistryBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada

Bibliographic information