Karo Michaelian

Karo Michaelian
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México | UNAM · Institute of Physics UNAM

PhD Nuclear Physics
Thermodynamic Dissipation Theory for the Origin of Life: Dissipative Structuring of Fundamental Molecules (UVC Pigments)

About

161
Publications
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Introduction
I am a Canadian researcher at the Institute of Physics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). My PhD is in experimental nuclear physics "Proton-Proton Bremsstrahlung" (University of Alberta, Canada 1987). I did postdoctoral work on pion absorption in nuclei at the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland. Now I work in nanophysics and the non-equilibrium thermodynamics of life and evolution. I am developing a robust framework for the UVC dissipative structuring of the fundamental molecules of life which I call the "Thermodynamic Dissipation Theory of the Origin of Life"; www.thermodynamicoriginoflife.wordpress.com
Additional affiliations
January 1991 - present
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Nuclear physics, nanoparticles, irreversible thermodynamics, ecosystem dynamics, origin of life.
January 1991 - present
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Irreversible Thermodynamics
January 1987 - March 1991
Paul Scherrer Institut
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Pion absorption in nuclei.
Education
August 1981 - June 1987
University of Alberta
Field of study
  • Experimental Nuclear Physics
August 1977 - June 1981
University of Alberta
Field of study
  • Geophysics

Publications

Publications (161)
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the thermodynamic function of life may shed light on its origin. Life, as are all irreversible processes, is contingent on entropy production. Entropy production is a measure of the rate of the tendency of Nature to explore available microstates. The most important irreversible process generating entropy in the biosphere and, thus, fa...
Article
Full-text available
The driving force behind the origin and evolution of life has been the thermodynamic imperative of increasing the entropy production of the biosphere through increasing the global solar photon dissipation rate. In the upper atmosphere of today, oxygen and ozone derived from life processes are performing the short-wavelength UV-C and UV-B dissipatio...
Article
Full-text available
The non-equilibrium thermodynamics and the photochemical reaction mechanisms are described which may have been involved in the dissipative structuring, proliferation and complexation of the fundamental molecules of life from simpler and more common precursors under the UVC photon flux prevalent at the Earth’s surface at the origin of life. Dissipat...
Article
Full-text available
There is little doubt that life’s origin followed from the known physical and chemical laws of Nature. The most general scientific framework incorporating the laws of Nature and applicable to most known processes to good approximation, is that of thermodynamics and its extensions to treat out-of-equilibrium phenomena. The event of the origin of lif...
Preprint
Full-text available
Lars Björn, in his critique of our article, doubts our assertion that at the origin of life the fundamental molecules of life (those in the three domains) were UVC pigments, dissipatively structured under a thermodynamic imperative to absorb and dissipate this UVC light into heat. Björn bases his critique on the suggestion that non-living material...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is little doubt that life's origin followed from the known physical and chemical laws of Nature. The most general scientific framework incorporating the laws of Nature and applicable to most known processes to good approximation, is that of thermodynamics and its extensions to treat out-of-equilibrium phenomena. The event of the origin of lif...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is little doubt that life's origin followed from the known physical and chemical laws of Nature. The most general scientific framework incorporating the laws of Nature and applicable to most known processes to good approximation, is that of thermodynamics and its extensions to treat out-of-equilibrium phenomena. The event of the origin of lif...
Article
Full-text available
Through a modern derivation of Planck’s formula for the entropy of an arbitrary beam of photons, we derive a general expression for entropy production due to the irreversible process of the absorption of an arbitrary incident photon spectrum in material and its dissipation into an infrared-shifted grey-body emitted spectrum, with the rest being ref...
Preprint
Full-text available
Through a modern derivation of Planck's formula for the entropy of an arbitrary beam of photons we derive a general expression for the entropy production due to the irreversible process of the absorption of an arbitrary incident photon spectrum in material and its dissipation into an infrared-shifted grey-body emitted spectrum, the rest being refle...
Experiment Findings
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Experiment Findings
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Experiment Findings
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Also available on YouTube at; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj6EhFrA84Jsf8fq7FdBAjw/videos
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
Also available on YouTube at; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj6EhFrA84Jsf8fq7FdBAjw/videos
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
This project presents Prigogine's Classical Irreversible Thermodynamic Theory as presented in his book "Introduction to the Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes" through a series of videos detailing the formalism. If you don't want to download the videos, you can also watch them on my YouTube channel; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj6EhFrA84...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
This project presents Prigogine's Classical Irreversible Thermodynamic Theory as presented in his book "Introduction to the Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes" through a series of videos detailing the formalism. If you don't want to download the videos, you can also watch them on my YouTube channel; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj6EhFrA8...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Thermodynamic Dissipation Theory of the Origin and Evolution of Life argues that the escence of the origin of life was the microscopic dissipative structuring under UVC light of organic pigments (now known as the fundamental molecules of life - those common to all three domains) and their proliferation over the entire Earth surface, driven by t...
Preprint
Full-text available
I describe the non-equilibrium thermodynamics and the photochemical mechanisms which may have been involved in the dissipative structuring, proliferation and evolution of the fundamental molecules at the origin of life from simpler and more common precursor molecules under the impressed UVC photon flux of the Archean. Dissipative structuring of the...
Article
Full-text available
Ultraviolet light incident on organic material can initiate its spontaneous dissipative structuring into chromophores which can catalyze their own replication. This may have been the case for one of the most ancient of all chromophores dissipating the Archean UVC photon flux, the nucleic acids. Oligos of nucleic acids with affinity to particular am...
Preprint
Full-text available
I describe the non-equilibrium thermodynamics and the photochemical mechanisms which may have been involved in the abiotic synthesis, proliferation, and complexation of the fundamental molecules of life from simpler and more common precursor molecules such as HCN, H$_2$O and CO$_2$ under the long wavelength UVC and UVB solar photon flux prevailing...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It has been conjectured that the origin of the fundamental molecules of life, their proliferation over the surface of Earth, and their complexation through time, are examples of photochemical dissipative structuring, dissipative proliferation, and dissipative selection, respectively, arising out of the nonequilibrium conditions created on Earth’s s...
Article
Full-text available
We describe the photochemical dissipative structuring of fatty acids from CO and CO2 saturated water under the solar ultraviolet (UVC and UVB) photon potential prevalent at Earth's surface during the Archean. Their association into vesicles and their subsequent association with other fundamental molecules of life such as RNA, DNA and carotenoids to...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ultraviolet light incident on organic material can initiate its spontaneous dissipative structuring into chromophores which can catalyze their own replication. This may have been the case for one of the most ancient of all chromophores dissipating the Archean UVC photon flux, the nucleic acids. Oligos of nucleic acids with affinity to particular am...
Article
Full-text available
Non-equilibrium thermodynamics is a relevant framework from within which to address formidable difficulties encountered in explaining the origin of life; from molecular synthesis and complexation, enzyme-less proliferation, to evolution (including the acquisition of homochirality and information). From within this framework we have proposed that th...
Article
Full-text available
We describe the photochemical dissipative structuring of fatty acids from CO and CO 2 saturated water under the solar UVC and UVA photon potential prevalent at Earth's surface during the Archean. Their association into vesicles and their subsequent association with other fundamental molecules of life such as RNA, DNA and carotenoids to form the fir...
Preprint
Full-text available
We describe the photochemical dissipative structuring of fatty acids from CO and CO2 saturated water under the solar UVC and UVA photon potential prevalent at Earth's surface during the Archean. Their association into vesicles and their subsequent association with other fundamental molecules of life such as RNA, DNA and carotenoids to form the firs...
Article
Full-text available
Since a racemic mixture of chiral nucleotides frustrates the enzymeless extension of RNA and DNA, the origin of homochirality must be intimately connected with the origin of life. Homochirality theories have elected to presume abiotic mechanisms for prebiotic enantiomer enrichment and post amplification, but none, so far, has been generally accepte...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ultraviolet light incident on organic material can initiate its spontaneous dissipative structuring into chromophores which can then catalyze their own replication. This may have been the case for one of the most ancient of all chromophores dissipating the Archean UVC photon flux, the nucleic acids. Under the empirically established imperative of i...
Article
Full-text available
Ultraviolet light incident on organic material can initiate its spontaneous dissipative structuring into chromophores which can then catalyze their own replication. This may have been the case for one of the most ancient of all chromophores dissipating the Archean UVC photon flux, the nucleic acids. Under the empirically established imperative of i...
Presentation
Star types which could have planets on which life like our own may be found according to the Thermodynamic Dissipation Theory of the Origin of Life.
Article
Full-text available
Some fundamental molecules of life are suggested to have been formed, proliferated, and evolved through photochemical microscopic dissipative structuring and autocatalytic proliferation under the UV-C/UV-B solar environment prevalent at Earth’s surface throughout the Archean. Evidence is given in the numerous salient characteristics of these, inclu...
Article
Full-text available
It is often incorrectly assumed that the number of microstates Ω(E,V, N, ...) available to an isolated system can have arbitrary dependence on the extensive variables E,V, N, ... However, this is not the case for systems which can, in principle, reach thermodynamic equilibrium since restrictions arise from the underlying equilibrium statistical mec...
Article
Full-text available
An ancient repertoire of ultraviolet (UV)-absorbing pigments which survive today in the phylogenetically oldest extant photosynthetic organisms, the cyanobacteria, point to a direction in evolutionary adaptation of the pigments and their associated biota; from largely UVC-absorbing pigments in the Archean to pigments covering ever more of the longe...
Article
Full-text available
There is solid evidence for the occurrence of large amounts of organic material in the cosmos, particularly in the form of aromatic compounds. These molecules can be found on the surface of Earth and Mars, in the atmospheres of the larger planets and on many of their satellites, on asteroids, comets, meteorites, the atmospheres of red giant stars,...
Book
La historia de las ciencias del siglo xx se vio dominada por lo que podíamos llamar “las tres C” (teoría de las catástrofes, teoría del caos y teoría de la complejidad).1 Los métodos e ideas de esta última inundan áreas del conocimiento científico tan disímiles como la biología o la economía, sustentados por la cada vez más ubicua asistencia de las...
Chapter
There is a worldwide tendency of students to choose administrative, social, and health careers, neglecting science and mathematics. These preferences have at their root a diverse set of factors; among them are the lack of training programs for science teachers, wrong methods of popularizing science among young students, and the lack of student moti...
Article
Full-text available
The dynamic and thermodynamic properties of nanoclusters are studied in two different environments: the canonical and microcanonical ensembles. A comparison is made to thermodynamic properties of the bulk. It is shown that consistent and reproducible results on nanoclusters can only be obtained in the canonical ensemble. Nanoclusters in the microca...
Article
Full-text available
The driving force behind the origin and evolution of life has been the thermodynamic imperative of increasing the entropy production of the biosphere through increasing the global solar photon dissipation rate. In the upper atmosphere of today, oxygen and ozone derived from life processes are performing the short wavelength UVC and UVB dissipation....
Article
Full-text available
The results of a series of experiments are presented which demonstrate that the absorption of UV-C light by DNA at temperatures below the melting temperature leads to complete and reversible denaturing for small synthetic DNA of 25 base pairs (bp), and to partial and reversible denaturing for the 48 bp DNA and for the large salmon sperm and yeast D...
Chapter
Full-text available
Todo proceso irreversible aparece y persiste para producir entropía (la disipación de una gradiente de un potencial termodinámico generalizada). La vida de hoy existe para disipar el potencial producido por los fotones visibles de alta energía del superficie del sol incidente sobre la Tierra y el fondo de fotones de un cuerpo negro de baja temperat...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ecosystems arise and evolve predominantly through the thermodynamic imperative of dissipating the solar photon flux into heat. Organic pigments coupled to water inside cyanobacteria, algae and plants provide the dissipative structures for this entropy production. Viruses, bacteria, insects and animals play the role of diversifiers and nutrient and...
Article
Full-text available
The most important thermodynamic work performed by life today is the dissipation of the solar photon flux into heat through organic pigments in water. From this thermodynamic perspective, biological evolution is thus just the dispersal of organic pigments and water throughout Earth's surface, while adjusting the gases of Earth's atmosphere to allow...
Article
Full-text available
Results from a measurement of the reaction 2H(π+,pp)π° at Tπ+=239MeV are presented. Because two protons were detected, the measurement was sensitive to events which involved both nucleons in a substantial way. Differential distributions are compared to the predictions of simple models. An integrated cross section for SCX (single charge exchange), w...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a large solid angle measurement of the positive pion absorption cross section on 4He and its decomposition into partial channels. The total absorption cross sections at incident pion kinetic energies of Tπ+=70, 118, 162, and 239 MeV are 35±5, 52±4, 51±5, and 27±2 mb, respectively. These values are lower than those reported in so...
Article
Collisions between pairs of liquid drops have been studied experimentally as a function of impact parameter, relative velocity, and mass asymmetry to illustrate some of the gross features of heavy ion reactions as well as to provide new grounds to test the bare hydrodynamics of nuclear reaction models.
Article
Earlier measurements of the ⁴°Ca(p vector,2p) reaction at 200 MeV incident energy have been extended to 300 MeV using the TRIUMF polarized proton beam. The angles and energies of both outgoing protons were measured, one being detected in a magnetic spectrometer and the other in a NaI(T) scintillation crystal. Measurements were made in two geomet...
Article
Full-text available
It is often incorrectly assumed that the number of microstates Ω(E, V, N, ...) available to an isolated system can have arbitrary dependence on the extensive variables E, V, N, .... However, this is not the case for natural systems which can reach thermodynamic equilibrium since restrictions exist arising from the underlying equilibrium axioms of i...
Article
Full-text available
Darwinian theory depicts life as being overwhelmingly consumed by a fight for survival in a hostile environment. However, from a thermodynamic perspective, life is a dynamic, out of equilibrium process, stabilizing and coevolving in concert with its abiotic environment. The living components of the biosphere on the Earth's surface of greatest bioma...
Article
Full-text available
Darwinian theory depicts life as being overwhelmingly consumed by a fight for survival in a hostile environment. However, from a thermodynamic perspective, life is a dynamic, out of equilibrium process, stabilizing and coevolving in concert with its abiotic environment. The living components of the biosphere on the Earth's surface of greatest bioma...
Article
Full-text available
Darwinian theory depicts life as being overwhelmingly consumed by a fight for survival in a hostile environment. However, from a thermodynamic perspective, life is a dynamic out of equilibrium process, stabilizing and coevolving in concert with its abiotic environment. The living component of the biosphere on the surface of the Earth of greatest bi...
Article
Full-text available
The presentation of this special issue “Recent Advances in the Thermodynamics of Life and Evolution” within the Journal of Modern Physics is a really exciting event. It represents the bringing to public view of a number of revolutionary ideas on life and evolution obtained by taking a thermodynamic perspective. Life and evolution, as all out-of-equ...
Article
Full-text available
Life arose as a non-equilibrium thermodynamic process to dissipate the photon potential generated by the hot Sun and cold outer space. Evidence from the geochemical record of the evolutionary history of life on Earth suggests that life originated in a hot aqueous environment dissipating UV light and evolved later to dissipate visible light. This ev...
Article
Full-text available
Darwinian theory depicts life as being overwhelmingly consumed by a fight for survival in a hostile environment. However, from a thermodynamic perspective, life is a dynamic, out of equilibrium process, stabilizing and coe-volving in concert with its abiotic environment. The living components of the biosphere on the Earth's surface of greatest biom...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we determine the importance of transpiration in plants at three different levels of organization: the plant itself, the ecosystem, and the biosphere, all in terms of entropy production due to transpiration. We propose that transpiration is a thermodynamic imperative rather than a physiological burden for the plant. Plants have not r...
Article
Full-text available
The homochirality of the molecules of life has been a vexing problem with no generally accepted solution to date. Since a racemic mixture of chiral nucleotides frustrates the extension and replication of RNA and DNA, understanding the origin of homochirality has important implications to the investigation of the origin of life. Here we suggest a no...
Article
Full-text available
Darwinian Theory depicts life as being overwhelmingly consumed by a fight for survival in a hostile environment. However, from a thermodynamic perspective, life is a dynamic, out of equilibrium process, stabilizing and coevolving in concert with its abiotic environment. The living component of the biosphere of greatest mass, the plants and cyanobac...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the thermodynamic function of life may shed light on its origin. Life, as are all irreversible processes, is contingent on entropy production. Entropy production is a measure of the rate of the tendency of Nature to explore available microstates. The most important irreversible process generating entropy in the biosphere, and thus fac...
Article
Full-text available
A Comment on the Letter by A. Ramírez-Hernández, H. Larralde, and F. Leyvraz, Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 120601 (2008)10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.120601. The authors of the Letter offer a Reply.
Article
Full-text available
The response of ecosystems to perturbations is considered from a thermodynamic perspective by acknowledging that, as for all macroscopic systems and processes, the dynamics and stability of ecosystems is subject to definite thermodynamic law. For open ecosystems, exchanging energy, work, and mass with the environment, the thermodynamic criteria com...
Article
Full-text available
It is shown that "negative heat capacity" in nanoclusters is an artifact of applying equilibrium thermodynamic formalism on a "small" system trapped in a metastable state differing from true thermodynamic equilibrium. Trapping occurs due to high-energy barriers separating different regions of the cluster phase space, particularly for cluster sizes...
Article
Full-text available
It is shown that negative heat capacity in nanoclusters is an artifact of applying equilibrium thermodynamic formalism on a small system trapped out of equilibrium in a particular structural motif representing only part of the energetically available phase space volume. Trapping may occur in either the canonical or microcanonical ensemble, but it i...
Article
The physical and chemical properties of small coinage metal clusters, with atomic structures nd^10(n+1)s^1 (n= 3,4,5 for Cu, Ag and Au, respectively), are of great interest since, for example, can be viewed as a bridge between those existing in the ``simple'' s-only alkali metal and the more complicated transition metal clusters. Several theoretica...
Article
Full-text available
The stability of ecosystems during periods of stasis in their macro-evolutionary trajectory is studied from a non-equilibrium thermodynamic perspective. Individuals of the species are considered as units of entropy production and entropy exchange in an open thermodynamic system. Within the framework of the classical theory of irreversible thermodyn...
Article
The dependence of the structural and magnetic properties of Co–Rh alloys at the nanoscale was investigated by exhaustively searching the minimum energy via a symbiotic algorithm on a Gupta potential for particle sizes of 13, 19, and 23 atoms. An unrestricted spd tight-binding Hamiltonian was then used to model the electronic properties. Our results...
Article
Full-text available
Trapped ion electron diffraction measurements on silver cluster cations, Agn+ for sizes n=36–46,55 at ∼120 K describe an evolution in structural symmetry with increasing cluster size. Diffraction patterns characterize fivefold symmetry at smaller sizes which evolves to icosahedral symmetry at n=55. Low energy isomer structures were identified by st...
Article
Full-text available
The structural properties and energy ordering of the lowest lying isomers of bimetallic (CuAu)n and (PtPd)n, n=5-22 clusters have been investigated by means of density functional theory (DFT) in the generalized gradient approximation (GGA). The initial cluster geometry optimization is performed by using a genetic algorithm with the many body Gupta...
Article
Full-text available
The caloric and specific heat curves for the bimetallic nanoclusters Au7-xAgx (x=0,3,4,7) are obtained through a statistical determination of the configurational density of states in the evolutive ensemble obtained with a genetic algorithm. The effect of the value of x (the relative concentrations) on the thermodynamics is studied. Three peaks ar...
Article
The dynamics and stability of ecosystems is studied from the perspective of non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Species, through their biotic and abiotic interactions, are considered as units of entropy production and exchange in an open thermodynamic system. Under the condition of constant external constraints, and within the framework of the classica...
Article
A study has been made of the structures and energy ordering of the lowest-lying isomers of the bimetallic nanoparticles (PtNi3)n, (Pt3Ni)n, and (PtNi)n, with n=1-20. The lowest energy structures of binary Pt-Ni nanoclusters, modeled by the many-body Gupta potential, were obtained by using a genetic-symbiotic algorithm. These structures were further...
Article
Full-text available
Before one adopts Albert Bartlett’s thesis that population growth must be included in addressing issues of energy shortages and carbon dioxide emissions (“Thoughts on Long-Term Energy Supplies: Scientists and the Silent Lie,” PHYSICS TODAY, July 2004, page 53), it may be instructive to consider the other side of the energy coin. Perhaps more import...
Article
The magnetic properties of free-standing ConRhm clusters (N=n+m~110 and n~m) of three different symmetries: cubo-octahedral, icosahedral and HCP, were investigated in the segregated case. The initial geometrical structures constructed at Rh bulk distances were relaxed with a many-body Gupta potential to obtain the cluster geometries and energies. W...
Article
Full-text available
The structural and magnetic properties of free-standing ConRhm clusters (N=n+m~110 and n~m) of three different symmetries—cubo-octahedral, icosahedral, and hcp—were investigated in two different chemical orders: segregated and alternated layering alloyed. The initial geometrical structures constructed at bulk dis- tances were relaxed with a many-bo...
Article
We have found stable isomers of the two DNA purines, adenine and guanine, in global searches using a force field potential and ab initio local relaxations. The stability characteristics were investigated by searching for the lowest energy connecting saddles, and by using Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics. Expected equilibrium concentrations and pos...
Article
The lowest energy structures of binary Pt-Pd nanoclusters, modelled by the many-body Gupta potential, are obtained by using a genetic-symbiotic algorithm for each composition of the type (PtPd)n with n=5-28. The potential parameters used for the Pt-Pd interaction are obtained by averaging the Pt-Pt and Pd-Pd ones. In agreement with previous theoret...
Article
Using a genetic algorithm combined with a statistical determination of the total density of states, we determined the thermodynamic properties of Lennard-Jones clusters of 7, 13, and 38 atoms in the microcanonical, canonical, and molecular dynamic ensembles. The technique is free from problems of quasi-ergodicity and is in general more ergodic than...