Origins of life [electronic resource] : a cosmic perspective / Douglas Whittet.

Whittet, D. C. B. (Doug C. B.), author.
San Rafael [California] : Morgan & Claypool Publishers, [2017]
1 online resource (various pagings) : illustrations (some color)
IOP (Series). Release 4.
IOP concise physics
[IOP release 4]
IOP concise physics, 2053-2571
Bristol [England] : IOP Publishing, [2017]

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Life -- Origin.
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Doug Whittet is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received his doctorate from University of St. Andrews and was Senior Lecturer and Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire prior to joining the RPI faculty in 1991. He served as director of the New York Center for Astrobiology from 2009 to 2016. His research interests include the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium, focusing on the chemical inventories of preplanetary matter in the disks and envelopes of newly-formed stars.
'Origins of Life: A Cosmic Perspective' presents an overview of the concepts, methods, and theories of astrobiology and origins of life research while presenting a summary of the latest findings. The book provides insight into the environments and processes that gave birth to life on our planet, which naturally informs our assessment of the probability that has arisen (or will arise) elsewhere. In addition, the book encourages readers to go beyond basic concepts, to explore topics in greater depth, and to engage in lively discussions.
1. Introduction
1.1. What is life?
1.2. Could life be silicon-based?
1.3. Time constraints
1.4. Scenarios for the origin of life on Earth
1.5. Searching for life beyond Earth
2. Cosmic synthesis of the biologically important chemical elements
2.1. Elements essential to life
2.2. Origin of the elements
2.3. Distributing the products of nucleosynthesis
3. Molecules in space : from interstellar clouds to protoplanetary disks
3.1. Chemistry in the interstellar medium
3.2. The rise of molecular complexity
3.3. Protostars and the chemical heritage of protoplanetary disks
4. The origin and evolution of our solar system
4.1. The Sun's birth environment
4.2. The solar nebula and the origin of the planets
4.3. Time capsules from the early Solar System
4.4. The evolution of habitability
5. The early Earth : forging an environment for life
5.1. The Earth-Moon system
5.2. Cosmic impacts
5.3. Emergence of the atmosphere and hydrosphere
5.4. Toward a prebiotic world
6. The origin of terrestrial life : converging on a paradigm
6.1. Constructing life's framework
6.2. Tracing life's ancestry
6.3. The transition to life
7. The search for life on Mars
7.1. Evolving conditions and habitability
7.2. Searching for biosignatures
7.3. Future prospects
8. Icy worlds as potential hosts for life
8.1. The moons of Jupiter
8.2. Saturn and beyond
8.3. Prospects for life
9. The search for life beyond our solar system
9.1. Exoplanetary systems : characteristics and habitability
9.2. The search for spectroscopic biosignatures
9.3. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI)
9.4. What if we succeed?
"Version: 20171101"--Title page verso.
"A Morgan & Claypool publication as part of IOP Concise Physics"--Title page verso.
Includes bibliographical references.
Title from PDF title page (viewed on December 11, 2017).
Morgan & Claypool Publishers, publisher.
Institute of Physics (Great Britain), publisher.
Other format:
Print version:
Publisher Number:
10.1088/978-1-6817-4676-0 doi
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Restricted for use by site license.