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Astronomy - Astrobiology | Stardust, Supernovae and the Molecules of Life - Might We All Be Aliens?

Stardust, Supernovae and the Molecules of Life

Might We All Be Aliens?

Boyd, Richard

2012, XI, 215p. 39 illus., 26 illus. in color.

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  • Gives a detailed description of handedness of the amino acids, a critical element in understanding their origin, as well as a plausible model by which their handedness could have been produced
  • Relates everything to basic physical properties and forces of nature, written in lay person language, which no other book on the molecules of life does
  • Offers discussions of some fascinating aspects of modern physics that impinge on the question of amino acid origin, e.g., the big bang, neutrino physics, and supernovae
Where were the amino acids, the molecules of life, created: perhaps in a lightning storm in the early Earth, or perhaps elsewhere in the cosmos? This book argues that at least some of them must have been produced in the cosmos, and that the fact that the Earthly amino acids have a specific handedness provides an important clue for that explanation. The book discusses several models that purport to explain the handedness, ultimately proposing a new explanation that involves cosmic processing of the amino acids produced in space. The book provides a tour for laypersons that includes a definition of life, the Big Bang, stellar nucleosynthesis, the electromagnetic spectrum, molecules, and supernovae and the particles they produce.

Content Level » Popular/general

Keywords » Springer popular astronomy - amino acid chirality - amino acid cosmic processing - amino acid handedness - big bang nucleosynthesis - creation molecules space - life in the universe - neutrino physics - origin of life

Related subjects » Astrobiology - Evolutionary & Developmental Biology - Popular Astronomy

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