Porphyrins play a vital role in many biological functions including oxygen transport, electron transfer and catalyzing the incorporation of oxygen into other molecules.
This current survey discusses the use of modern physical techniques to probe porphyrin structure and function. The authors review the data available through a particular technique and show what can be learned therefrom about the (electronic) structure and function of biologically important porphyrins. The techniques include magnetic circular dichroism, X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and Mössbauer spectroscopies. All contributors are well known in their respective fields, enjoying world-wide reputation.