Reduction of Carbon Dioxide inAqueous Solutions by IonizingRadiation

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The question of the conditions under which living matter originated on the surface of the earth is still a subject limited largely to speculation. The speculation has a greater chance of approaching the truth insofar as it includes and is based upon the ever wider variety of established scientific fact. One of the purposes of the herein reported observation was to add another fact to the ever increasing information which might have any bearing upon this most interesting question. It is not our purpose in the present communication to discuss the various proposals or the arguments which have been adduced ... continued below

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Garrison, W.M.; Morrison, D.C.; Hamilton, J.G.; Benson, A.A. & Calvin, M. March 13, 1951.

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Description

The question of the conditions under which living matter originated on the surface of the earth is still a subject limited largely to speculation. The speculation has a greater chance of approaching the truth insofar as it includes and is based upon the ever wider variety of established scientific fact. One of the purposes of the herein reported observation was to add another fact to the ever increasing information which might have any bearing upon this most interesting question. It is not our purpose in the present communication to discuss the various proposals or the arguments which have been adduced for and against them. One of the most popular current conceptions is that life originated in an organic milieu on the surface of the earth, (1,2,3,4,5). The problem to which we are addressed is the origin of that organic milieu in the absence of any life. It appeared to us that one source, if not the only source, of reduced carbon compounds in complex arrangements might be the interaction of various high energy radiations with aqueous solutions of inorganic materials, particularly carbon dioxide, and nitrogenous compounds such as ammonia and nitrogen, since it appears that these compounds were the commoner forms in which the essential elements found themselves on the primordial earth. While it has long been known that high energy radiations can cause organic decomposition and oxidation, it seemed useful to us to demonstrate that conditions could be found in which high energy radiations could induce the reduction with water of carbon dioxide and the ultimate creation of polyatomic molecules (other than simple polymerization of monomers) of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen.

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  • Report No.: UCRL--1192
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/913177 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 913177
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc888998

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  • March 13, 1951

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Sept. 30, 2016, 2:31 p.m.

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Garrison, W.M.; Morrison, D.C.; Hamilton, J.G.; Benson, A.A. & Calvin, M. Reduction of Carbon Dioxide inAqueous Solutions by IonizingRadiation, report, March 13, 1951; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc888998/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.