Physical Phenomena Underlying the Origin of Life

  • Juan Pérez-Mercader
Part of the Cellular Origin and Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology book series (COLE, volume 7)


Living systems are examples of emergent behavior whereby complex chemicals assemble into hierarchical structures and systems with a collective set of properties that characterize them. We start by highlighting the basic properties of living systems in order that one can adopt an operational description (not really a definition) of living systems. This allows one to actually attempt a description of the properties of living systems and from there an unified description in terms of physics. Such a unified description can indeed be found by abandoning the traditional reductionist approach and using the notion of emergence. We give an analytical description of how emergence takes place. We will learn that the physics associated with the emergence of Life points towards the notion that life is a consequence of the evolution of the Universe.


Correlation Function Probability Distribution Function Living System Scale Invariance Coarse Graining 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Pérez-Mercader
    • 1
  1. 1.Associated to the NASA Astrobiology InstituteCentro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA)Torrejón de ArdozMadrid

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