Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Baly’s Experiment

  • Stephane Tirard
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_145-3


Regarding origin of life, Baly’s experiment (1922) is one of the most emblematic organic chemistry experiments of the beginning of the twentieth century (Baly 1871–1948). It has demonstrated that ultraviolet light could act on a solution of water, carbon dioxide, and ammonia and produce a lot of organic compounds, such as sugars and amino acids.

J.B.S. Haldane quoted these experiments in his famous text in 1929; for him, this was a chemical proof of the possibility of a link between mineral and organic chemistry in the prebiotic soup.

See Also


Carbon Dioxide Organic Chemistry Organic Compound Twentieth Century Bioorganic Chemistry 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculté des Sciences et des Techniques de NantesCentre François Viète d’Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques EA 1161NantesFrance