About Paul Champion
Biomolecules form a class of complex systems that are fundamental to the existence of life. The function of biomolecules can be controlled by very small length scale fluctuations, vibrations, and the “spin” associated with metal ions, all of which involve quantum effects and are associated with the newly developing field of “Quantum Biology”. Our lab studies the structure and dynamics of biomolecules using a variety of ultrafast laser-based techniques such as vibrational coherence spectroscopy (VCS) and broadband pump-probe kinetics that span the femtosecond to millisecond timescales. We also use more traditional techniques such as resonance Raman scattering and we are developing new methodologies, such as femtosecond stimulated Raman scattering. The latter method has excellent time and frequency resolution and it can be used as a spectroscopic probe of individual biomolecules as well as a method for imaging biological tissue and cells.
Time-resolved dynamic information helps us to probe biochemical reaction coordinates as well as unstable catalytic intermediates that involve enzyme-substrate complexes. The vibrational coherence measurements are designed to probe very low frequency motions, which have energies that can be thermally excited. Such motions are used by biomolecules to extract energy from the environment in order to do useful biochemical work. The kinetic studies characterize processes taking place over a wide dynamic range of timescales. These processes