Chiral Molecules and Electron Spin: How Are They Related and How Can We Utilize Their Cooperative Properties

Weissman Lecture - Ron Naaman - Weizmann Institute

Chiral molecules constitute life. Proteins, sugars, and DNA are all chiral. Their special symmetry is preserved all through evolution, but why? A related question is why does nature prefer electrons to be transferred through proteins, which are insulators, rather than through better conducting conjugated molecules? Professor Naaman will attempt to answer these and related questions by describing the special relation between electron spin and molecular chirality. This relation does not only explain major questions related to life, but it can also be utilized in many applications, such as electronics and production of the highly desired hydrogen as future fuel.