Properties of biophotons and their theoretical implications

Indian J Exp Biol. 2003 May;41(5):391-402.


The word "biophotons" is used to denote a permanent spontaneous photon emission from all living systems. It displays a few up to some hundred photons/(s x cm2) within the spectral range from at least 260 to 800 nm. It is closely linked to delayed luminescence (DL) of biological tissues which describes the long term and ultra weak reemission of photons after exposure to light illumination. During relaxation DL turns continuously into the steady state biophoton emission, where both, DL and biophoton emission exhibit mode coupling over the entire spectrum and a Poissonian photo count distribution. DL is representing excited states of the biophoton field. The physical properties indicate that biophotons originate from fully coherent and sometimes even squeezed states. The physical analysis provides thermodynamic and quantum optical interpretation, in order to understand the biological impacts of biophotons. Biological phenomena like intracellular and intercellular communication, cell growth and differentiation, interactions among biological systems (like "Gestaltbildung" or swarming), and microbial infections can be understood in terms of biophotons. "Biophotonics", the corresponding field of applications, provide a new powerful tool for assessing the quality of food (like freshness and shelf life), microbial infections, environmental influences and for substantiating medical diagnosis and therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biology*
  • Photons*