When did people start to call it an "antenna"

  • #1
qnach
140
4
The photosynthesis light harvesters are called antenna.
But when did people started to call it antenna?
The earliest I can find is about 1970.
I believe it should be even earlier.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
jim mcnamara
Mentor
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I am not sure why the term antenna is important. FWIW, I am also used to the term antenna complex.

The antenna pigments "live" on the the thylakoid membrane in a protein matrix and collectively are known as the antenna pigments (or antenna complex)- carotenoids, chlorophyll B , and chlorophyll A. In that order, from light source >...-> "inside" (for higher plants).
.
If this helps at all, when I taught Botany Labs as a grad student in the mid-1960's the term antenna complex did not exist in any of the textbooks we had on the shelf. AFAIK. So, 1970 is not a bad guess.
You also need to realize that in 1970 getting from research to a set of papers, then to standard textbooks was a huge, time-consuming effort. Unlike today, there was no internet arXiv resource to publish scientific results much more quickly. So, that term may have lurked in obscurity for several years.

This probably is why you are having problems with finding a definitive date.
 
Last edited:
  • #3
qnach
140
4
I am not sure why the term antenna is important. FWIW, I am also used to the term antenna complex.

The antenna pigments "live" on the the thylakoid membrane in a protein matrix and collectively are known as the antenna pigments (or antenna complex)- carotenoids, chlorophyll B , and chlorophyll A. In that order, from light source >...-> "inside" (for higher plants).
.
If this helps at all, when I taught Botany Labs as a grad student in the mid-1960's the term antenna complex did not exist in any of the textbooks we had on the shelf. AFAIK. So, 1970 is not a bad guess.
You also need to realize that in 1970 getting from research to a set of papers, then to standard textbooks was a huge, time-consuming effort. Unlike today, there was no internet arXiv resource to publish scientific results much more quickly. So, that term may have lurked in obscurity for several years.

This probably is why you are having problems with finding a definitive date.

I am not quite sure how to use google. Please said you can let goole sort it for you.

The earliest I found is 1965
 
  • #4
jim mcnamara
Mentor
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Go to google scholar, enter the search query: antenna complex
This will give you papers that have the term. IF AND ONLY IF the resource has been indexed. Otherwise try a librarian at a good local university. Some keep old
textbooks - search through post 1950 textbooks.

You need to realize that google has limitations. There are journals from before the year 2000 that have never been indexed by google. So a search like you want may not work, except for google books which has a vast number of entries.
Try:
https://books.google.com/advanced_book_search

I get thousands of hits. If this is really important for you, keep scrolling and reading the publishing date. You will have to dedicate a fair amount of time to this, and you have no guarantee about getting the very oldest use of the term.
 
  • #5
jim mcnamara
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Using google ngrams I get about 1965. Note that antenna complex also applies to radar and radio applications. So it does not help us.

Screenshot_2019-03-05 Google Ngram Viewer.png
 

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  • #6
jim mcnamara
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MY bad. The earliest is 1949:
reference:
Screenshot_2019-03-05 Light-induced electron transport in reaction centers of purple.png

Johannes Cornelis Romijn 1949
 

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