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Light in Condensed Matter in the Upper Atmosphere as the Origin of Homochirality: Circularly Polarized Light from Rydberg Matter

Författare och institution:
Leif Holmlid (Institutionen för kemi)
Publicerad i:
Astrobiology, 9 s. 535-542
Artikel, refereegranskad vetenskaplig
Sammanfattning (abstract):
Clouds of the condensed excited Rydberg matter (RM) exist in the atmospheres of comets and planetary bodies (most easily observed at Mercury and the Moon), where they surround the entire bodies. Vast such clouds are recently proposed to exist in the upper atmosphere of Earth (giving rise to the enormous features called noctilucent clouds, polar mesospheric clouds, and polar mesospheric summer radar echoes). It has been shown in experiments with RM that linearly polarized visible light scattered from an RM layer is transformed to circularly polarized light with a probability of approximately 50%. The circular Rydberg electrons in the magnetic field in the RM may be chiral scatterers. The magnetic and anisotropic RM medium acts as a circular polarizer probably by delaying one of the perpendicular components of the light wave. The delay process involved is called Rabi-flopping and gives delays of the order of femtoseconds. This strong effect thus gives intense circularly polarized visible and UV light within RM clouds. Amino acids and other chiral molecules will experience a strong interaction with this light field in the upper atmospheres of planets. The interaction will vary with the stereogenic conformation of the molecules and in all probability promote the survival of one enantiomer. Here, this strong effect is proposed to be the origin of homochirality. The formation of amino acids in the RM clouds is probably facilitated by the catalytic effect of RM.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Fysik ->
Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi ->
Rydberg matter, Homochirality, Circular dichroism, Upper atmosphere, Interplanetary medium
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2009-09-16 22:19

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