Cosmic chirality both true and false

Barron, L. D. (2012) Cosmic chirality both true and false. Chirality, 24(12), pp. 957-958. (doi: 10.1002/chir.22106) (PMID:22930646)

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The discrete symmetries of parity P, time reversal T, and charge conjugation C may be used to characterize the properties of chiral systems. It is well known that parity violation infiltrates into ordinary matter via an interaction between the nucleons and electrons, mediated by the Z0 particle, that lifts the degeneracy of the mirror-image enantiomers of a chiral molecule. Being odd under P but even under T, this P-violating interaction exhibits true chirality and so may induce absolute enantioselection under all circumstances. It has been suggested that CP violation may also infiltrate into ordinary matter via a P-odd, T-odd interaction mediated by the (as yet undetected) axion. This CP-violating interaction exhibits false chirality and so may induce absolute enantioselection in processes far from equilibrium. Both true and false cosmic chirality should be considered together as possible sources of homochirality in the molecules of life.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barron, Professor Laurence
Authors: Barron, L. D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Chirality
ISSN (Online):1520-636X
Published Online:28 August 2012

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