The Origin of Handedness

  • Popa Radu
Part of the Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics book series (ASTROBIO, volume 2)


Some physical realities such as fluid vortices, certain molecular architectures, circularly polarized electromagnetic waves, screws and some crystalline patterns can exist in two geometric states that cannot be superimposed on their mirror images (see Fig. [5.1]). This property is known as handedness in reference to the word Open image in new window hand’. The word Open image in new window chirality’ (from the Greek word cheir meaning Open image in new window hand’) was first used by Lord Kelvin in 1893 and is more frequently used to describe the handedness of molecular architectures.


Microscopic Object Dust Devil Asymmetric Carbon Molecular Chirality Abiotic Synthesis 
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Authors and Affiliations

  • Popa Radu
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern California Department of Marine Biology 3651 Trousdale Parkway, AHF 107 90089-0371 Los Angeles, CAUSA

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