Stardust, Supernovae and the Molecules of Life

Might We All Be Aliens?

  • Richard N. Boyd

Part of the Astronomers' Universe book series (ASTRONOM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Richard N. Boyd
    Pages 1-19
  3. Richard N. Boyd
    Pages 21-39
  4. Richard N. Boyd
    Pages 87-106
  5. Richard N. Boyd
    Pages 175-186
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 187-215

About this book


Where were the amino acids, the molecules of life, created: perhaps in a lightning storm in the early Earth, or perhaps elsewhere in the cosmos? This book argues that at least some of them must have been produced in the cosmos, and that the fact that the Earthly amino acids have a specific handedness provides an important clue for that explanation. The book discusses several models that purport to explain the handedness, ultimately proposing a new explanation that involves cosmic processing of the amino acids produced in space. The book provides a tour for laypersons that includes a definition of life, the Big Bang, stellar nucleosynthesis, the electromagnetic spectrum, molecules, and supernovae and the particles they produce.


Springer popular astronomy amino acid chirality amino acid cosmic processing amino acid handedness big bang nucleosynthesis creation molecules space life in the universe neutrino physics origin of life

Authors and affiliations

  • Richard N. Boyd
    • 1
  1. 1.Ohio State University (Emeritus)WindsorUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4614-1331-8
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4614-1332-5
  • Series Print ISSN 1614-659X
  • Buy this book on publisher's site