MICMOC/MICMOS: Photochemistry of van der Waals solids and the rise of the organic molecular complexity
Astrochimie et Origines, IAS-CNRS-UPS, UMR 8627, Campus d’Orsay, bat 121, 91944 Orsay, Cedex, France
Ices of well-known composition are widely observed in molecular clouds out of which stars, planets and debris (asteroids, comets) will form. These ices are naturally subjected to energy input in the form of UV photons and charged cosmic particles which are able to start a very rich radical chemistry in the solid state. These phenomena are simulated in the MICMOC experiment which focuses on the possible prebiotic significance of the organic residues that are formed at room temperature. Further than MICMOC, we propose a general prospective of the evolution of this experiment toward the concept of non-directed experiments that may allow simulating the very first steps from the inanimate molecular world to selective pathways toward self-replicating autocatalytic and heterotrophic molecules that could be considered, for a physicist a template for “minimal” life.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014
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