Symmetry and chirality: where physics shakes hands with chemistry and biology

Barron, L. D. (2021) Symmetry and chirality: where physics shakes hands with chemistry and biology. Israel Journal of Chemistry, 61(9-10), pp. 517-529. (doi: 10.1002/ijch.202100044)

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In reflecting the author's personal perspective, this review demonstrates how chirality is a unifying theme in modern science. Using the discrete symmetries of parity P, time reversal T and charge conjugation C to characterize chiral systems, the concepts of true and false chirality that emerge provide an extension of Lord Kelvin's definition to dynamic situations This clarifies the nature of physical influences able to induce absolute enantioselection, emphasizing the distinct behaviour of processes under thermodynamic and kinetic control. Parity violation and CP violation are suggested to be manifestations of true and false cosmic chirality, respectively, with possible roles in abiotic enantioselection. Truly chiral systems support time-even pseudoscalar observables which endows chiroptical spectroscopies with a special sensitivity to absolute stereochemistry, exemplified by the application of vibrational Raman optical activity to small chiral organic molecules and intact viruses.

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:Israel Journal of Chemistry
ISSN (Online):1869-5868
Published Online:12 August 2021

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