The Physics of the Interstellar Medium
- J. E. Dyson, D. A. Williams
- Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Institute…
"How the fundamental life elements are created in the interstellar medium (ISM)?" is one of the intriguing questions related to the genesis of life. Using computational calculations, we have discussed the reaction of CH2=NH, CO and H2O for the formation of glycine, the simplest life element. This reaction proceeds through a concerted mechanism with reasonably large barriers for the cases with one and two water molecules as reactants. For the two water case we found that the extra water molecule exhibits some catalytic role through the hydrogen transport relay effect and the barrier height is reduced substantially compared to the case with one water molecule. These two cases can be treated as ideal cases for the hot-core formation of the interstellar glycine. With an increasing number of water molecules as the reactants, we found that when the numbers of water molecules are three or more than three, the barrier height reduced so drastically that the transition states were more stable than the reactants. Such a situation gives a clear indication that with excess water molecules as the reactants, this reaction will be feasible even under the low temperature conditions existing in the cold interstellar clouds and the exothermic nature of the reaction will be the driving force.