Revealing the properties of the radical-pair magnetoreceptor using pulsed photo-excitation timed with pulsed rf

12 Jul 2016  ·  Mouloudakis K., Kominis I. K. ·

The radical-pair mechanism is understood to underlie the magnetic navigation capability of birds and possibly other species. Experiments with birds have provided indirect and in cases conflicting evidence on the actual existence of this mechanism... We here propose a new experiment that can unambiguously identify the presence of the radical-pair magnetoreceptor in birds and unravel some of its basic properties. The proposed experiment is based on modulated light excitation with a pulsed laser, combined with delayed radio-frequency magnetic field pulses. We predict a resonance effect in the birds' magnetic orientation versus the rf-pulse delay time. The resonance's position reflects the singlet-triplet mixing time of the magnetoreceptor. read more

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