BHI Colloquium


Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 1:30pm to 2:30pm


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Noemie Globus (Astronomy) - ELI beamlines/Flatiron Institute (CCA)

Title: The chiral puzzle of life

Abstract: The origin of biological homochirality has been an intense field of research and debate since its discovery by Pasteur in 1848. The weak force, one of the fundamental forces operating in nature, is parity-violating. This is why it has been invoked to be responsible for the asymmetry in the molecules of life for nearly a century. On Earth, at ground level, nearly 85% of our cosmic radiation dose comes from muons, formed in a decay involving the weak force. Therefore, the muons are magnetically polarized on average. I will discuss the role of the cosmic rays polarized components in the emergence of biological homochirality, and the possible implications for the search of life in other worlds.
Bio: Noémie Globus is a high energy astrophysicist. She has a joint post-doctoral position at the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics at the New York University and at the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute.  She conducts interdisciplinary research on the role of cosmic radiation in the emergence of life, involving knowledge the fields of astrophysics, particle physics, and biophysics.

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See also: Astronomy