TCB Publications - Abstract

Klaus Schulten, Charles E. Swenberg, and Albert Weller. A biomagnetic sensory mechanism based on magnetic field modulated coherent electron spin motion. Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie, NF111:1-5, 1978.

SCHU78C 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 in the geomagnetic field.

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