Asymmetries as Quasi-Fossils of the Origin of Life and Matter


Asymmetries as Quasi-Fossils of the Origin of Life and Matter

Author(s): Martin Quack

Publication: Bunsen-Magazin 2022, 4, 124-125

Publisher: Deutsche Bunsen-Gesellschaft für physikalische Chemie e.V., Frankfurt

Language: English

DOI: 10.26125/0naq-8g83

Abstract: Fundamental physics knows three discrete symmetries, which are labeled C, P, and T, for the symmetries of the Hamiltonian quantum dynamics under exchange of particles of matter with particles of antimatter(‘Charge conjugation’ C), space inversion, the replacement of the three space coordinates (x,y,z) of all particles by their negative values (-x,-y-z), commonly called P (for parity) and time reversal, commonly called T, corresponding to a reversal of momenta and spins of all particles.

Restricting attention to parity, we can identify three fundamental questions on symmetry, relating physics to molecular quantum dynamics and stereochemistry: (i) To what extent are the fundamental symmetries and conservation laws of physics and their violations reflected in molecular quantum dynamics and spectroscopy, in general? (ii) How important is parity violation –the violation of space inversion symmetry- for the quantum dynamics and spectroscopy of chiral molecules, in particular? (iii) How important is parity violation for biomolecular homochirality, i.e. the quasi exclusive preference of L-amino acids and D-sugars in the biopolymers of life (proteins and DNA)?

Cite this:  M. Quack, Bunsen-Magazin 2022, 4, 124-125, DOI: 10.26125/0naq-8g83

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