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Last Updated: Nov 7, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Bird Navigation "Courtesy: National Science Foundation"


Credit for Image

 An international team of researchers are the first to demonstrate that a synthesized photochemical molecule composed of linked carotenoid (C), porphyrin (P) and fullerene (F) (CPF) units can act as a magnetic compass. When excited with light, CPF forms a short-lived charge-separated state with a negative charge on the ball-like fullerene unit and a positive charge on the rod-like carotenoid unit. The lifetime of the charge-separated state before it returns to its lowest energy or ground state is sensitive to the magnitude and direction of a weak magnetic field similar to Earth's.

 This image accompanied NSF press release, "Research Team Is First to Model Photochemical Compass for Bird Navigation."

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation


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