Volume 82, Number 1, April 2008
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics|
|Published online||05 March 2008|
Could dark matter or neutrinos discriminate between the enantiomers of a chiral molecule?
Instituto de Matemáticas y Física Fundamental (CSIC) - Serrano 123, 20006 Madrid, Spain, EU
2 Departamento de Química Física, Universidad de Salamanca - 37008 Salamanca, Spain, EU
3 Departamento de Física Teórica I, Universidad Complutense de Madrid - 28040 Madrid, Spain, EU
4 Departamento de Óptica, Universidad Complutense de Madrid - 28040 Madrid, Spain, EU
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 4 February 2008
We examine the effect of cold dark matter on the discrimination between the two enantiomers of a chiral molecule. We estimate the energy difference between the two enantiomers due to the interaction between fermionic WIMPs (weak interacting massive particles) and molecular electrons on the basis that electrons have opposite helicities in opposite enantiomers. It is found that this energy difference is completely negligible. Dark matter could then be discarded as an inductor of chiroselection between enantiomers and then of biological homochirality. However, the effect of cosmological neutrinos, revisited with the currently accepted neutrino density, would reach, in the most favorable case, an upper bound of the same order of magnitude as the energy difference obtained from the well-known electroweak electron-nucleus interaction in some molecules.
PACS: 33.15.Bh – General molecular conformation and symmetry; stereochemistry / 13.15.+g – Neutrino interactions / 95.35.+d – Dark matter (stellar, interstellar, galactic, and cosmological)
© EPLA, 2008
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