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Homochirality and the Need for Energy
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
2010 (English)In: Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere, ISSN 0169-6149, E-ISSN 1573-0875, Vol. 40, 93-110 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The mechanisms for explaining how a stable asymmetric chemical system can be formed from a symmetric chemical system, in the absence of any asymmetric influence other than statistical fluctuations, have been developed during the last decades, focusing on the non-linear kinetic aspects. Besides the absolute necessity of self-amplification processes, the importance of energetic aspects is often underestimated. Going down to the most fundamental aspects, the distinction between a single object—that can be intrinsically asymmetric—and a collection of objects—whose racemic state is the more stable one—must be emphasized. A system of strongly interacting objects can be described as one single object retaining its individuality and a single asymmetry; weakly or non-interacting objects keep their own individuality, and are prone to racemize towards the equilibrium state. In the presence of energy fluxes, systems can be maintained in an asymmetric non-equilibrium steady-state. Such dynamical systems can retain their asymmetry for times longer than their racemization time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 40, 93-110 p.
Keyword [en]
Emergence of homochirality, Energy, Entropy, Non-equilibrium thermodynamics, System chemistry, Symmetry breaking
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36131DOI: 10.1007/s11084-009-9181-6ISI: 000274142200009OAI: diva2:288835
Available from: 2010-01-22 Created: 2010-01-22 Last updated: 2011-11-23Bibliographically approved

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Brandenburg, Axel
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ReferencesLink to record
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