Theoretical Physics

Theoretical Physics Colloquium: The Unbeatable Rightness of Being: A Cosmic Ray Origin for Biological Homochirality?

Seminars and colloquia
Lindemann Lecture Theatre
Clarendon Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
Seminar series
Theoretical physics colloquia
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The laws of physics were long thought to be unchanged when viewed in a mirror. We have known for over sixty years that they are not. As Sakharov first explained, this asymmetry, in action during the first moments of the universe, may help account for the prevalence of matter over antimatter today. Likewise, as Pasteur first showed, the laws of biology are asymmetric, as exhibited by the structure of DNA. In this talk, a possible causal connection between these two asymmetries, mediated by cosmic rays in a variety of environments, will be discussed and some new experimental approaches outlined.