High Energy Processing of Phosphorus on the Early Earth

Presenter: Matthew Pasek, University of Arizona
When: June 1, 2010 2:30PM PDT

Phosphorus is a key element in biology, and may have been critical to
the origin or early evolution of life on the Earth.  Reduced oxidation
state phosphorus compounds have been shown recently to generate
potentially prebiotic compounds.  These compounds are demonstrated to form
in lightning strikes, and possibly in rocks affected by impact.  I will
review how high energy processes change the oxidation state of phosphorus
and the eventual fate of these compounds on the early Earth.

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