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Special CMT seminar: Wednesday, April 26th

10:30 am, Wednesday, April 26th
Harvard University
Special Condensed Matter Theory Seminar
Department of Physics
Lyman 425
 "Explaining the Broadband Absorbance of Melanins"
Jennifer Riesz, Physics Dept., University of Queensland, Australia

Melanins are the dark biopigment that colours the hair, skin and eyes
of many species, including humans.  They have many fascinating
physical properties including condensed phase electrical conductivity
and photoconductivity, the ability to efficiently non-radiatively
relax photoexcitations, and most significantly, broad band monotonic
absorption in the UV and visible ranges.  Attempts to explain these
properties are hampered by a lack of knowledge of the physical
structure of melanin, particularly at the secondary (nanometer) level.
I will discuss our progress in investigating the
structure-property-function relationships of melanin using
spectroscopic and quantum chemical methods, and our interpretation of
these results in the context of the chemical disorder structural model
of melanins.