@GwenfarsGarden @douginamug @InvaderXan It's always a physics thing on some level where Solarpunk is concerned :P

@cathal @GwenfarsGarden @douginamug
Well, you know... solar energy... photons... energy transfer... all of that lovely stuff.

@InvaderXan @GwenfarsGarden @douginamug Also chlorophyll, up close, is a whole mess 'o quantum nonsense. Chlorophyll is basically impossible, it's fake news.

@cathal @GwenfarsGarden @douginamug
You know that using molecular photophysics to mimic chlorophyll is literally my job, right? :P

@InvaderXan @GwenfarsGarden @douginamug
Not even kidding it's witchy as heck.
I attended a talk about bacterial chlorophyll years back, which has independently converged on essentially the same structure as plant chlorophyll (which is already whoa), and the quantummy optimisations in there were extremely mind-blowing. Life is amazing.

@cathal @GwenfarsGarden @douginamug
It seems like things in nature are more and more amazing the longer evolution has been working on them. And, since it first appeared, evolution has had 2.5 billion years to optimise photosynthesis.

That’s 18% of the total lifetime of the Universe. Which is quite a thing to think about! ☀️

@InvaderXan @cathal @GwenfarsGarden @douginamug
and if u see the way photosynthesis is optimised,
it's not just for efficiency (or higher profit for the plant) but for a collective good (which is more sustainable)

@InvaderXan @GwenfarsGarden @douginamug
How so? It does bug me that efficiency overall is low, but IIRC the bottleneck isn't chlorophyll, it's carbon fixation using the unstable energy available from chlorophyll, hence why C4 plants have higher efficiency. But it does appear to be a simple case of "efficient photosynthesis is hard", rather than a "deliberate" lack of optimality?

@cathal @InvaderXan @GwenfarsGarden @douginamug

Yah how and why so ?
That's just a thought from layman's perspective.. and comparison is not with C4 plants..
Chlorophyll..ironically not using the most optimum part of the solar spectrum (green) ? Why not any another complex pigment..

@animo @cathal @GwenfarsGarden @douginamug

Very simply, nature is not greedy.

Plants take what they need and no more. Chlorophyll is as efficient as it needs to be. It avoids the strongest part of the solar spectrum to avoid oxidative damage which could easily damage sensitive living tissues. In fact, most plants have mechanisms to stop them from absorbing too much light.

The idea that things need to always get the highest possible returns is very human, and not shared by nature.


@InvaderXan @animo @cathal @GwenfarsGarden@sunbeam.city @douginamug I disagree, i think plants are the thing that makes my emotions go: "yes!"

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