Table of Contents
Physics Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 232864, 13 pages
Review Article

Softening the “Crystal Scaffold” for Life’s Emergence

139 Cite de l’Ocean, Montgaillard, 97400 St. Denis, Reunion
2Department of Physics, Delhi University, 244 Tagore Park, Delhi 110009, India

Received 1 August 2011; Accepted 13 November 2011

Academic Editor: Manh-Huong Phan

Copyright © 2012 Gargi Mitra-Delmotte and Asoke Nath Mitra. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Del Giudice’s group studies how water can organize on hydrophilic surfaces forming coherent domains (loaning energy from the quantum vacuum), plus quasifree electrons, whose excitations produce cold vortices, aligning to ambient fields. Their electric and magnetic dipolar modes can couple to oscillatory (electric-organic dipoles) and/or rotary (magnetic-mineral dipoles), besides responding to magnetic potentials. Thus, imprinted electromagnetic patterns of catalytic colloids—compared with Cairns-Smith’s “crystal scaffold”—on their structured water partners could have equipped the latter with a selection basis for “choosing” their context-based “soft-matter” (de Gennes) replacements. We consider the potential of the scenario of an external control on magnetic colloids forming in the Hadean hydrothermal setting (of Russell and coworkers)—via a magnetic rock field—conceptually enabling self-assembly, induction of asymmetries, response effects towards close-to-equilibrium dynamics, and associative networks, besides providing a coherent environment for stabilizing associated symmetry-broken quanta and their feedback interactions with those of coherent water domains, to address the emergence of metabolism and replication.