Miller Spark Discharge Experiment
dpeaston at Microagewny.com
Tue May 21 19:04:45 EST 1996
In article <ianv-2708562147400001 at p20.vianet.on.ca>, ianv at vianet.on.ca (Ian Vaithilingam) wrote:
>Fellow students, teachers, and scientists,
> I have become facinated with early work in the chemical origins of
>life. The Urey/Miller spark discharge experiment of the 1950's (ie. "the
>artificial synthesis of amino acids under primitive earth conditions")
>me to take on the same project for my high-school biochemistry course.
>The experiment was a lab simulation of primeval conditions on the earth,
>investigating the chemical origins of life. In brief, methane, ammonia,
>hydrogen and water were circulated in a apparatus and sparked by high
>voltage current - resulting in the production of amino acids (the 'builing
>blocks' of life).
> I have read Miller's early publications (ie. the Science
>articles), and have set up my simplifed version of your experiment. I was
>wondering if anyone might have any suggestions that would optimize the
>production of amino acids.
> My apparatus is as follows:
> -one 2-L Erlenmeyer flask serves as the spark chamber.
> -a large stopper at the top has four holes/valves: one for gas in,
>one for gas out, and the other two for the electrodes that extend to the
>centre of the flask
> -the gas-out valve is connected to an underwater seal.
> -a 50 000 V tesla coil provides the spark source
> Thank you very much in advance.. My entire class is very excited
>about the results that the experiment will bring about. Also, thank you
>to all the people on the Usenet that have helped me with this project so
>far - I never would have proceed this far without you (I will get around
>to thanking you personally after this expt. is over and I have some
> Ian Vaithilingam <ianv at vianet.on.ca>
> Biochemistry Dept. (student)
> O¹Gorman High School
> Timmins, ON, Canada
>-- Please please keep the atomosphere reducing! If oxygen leaks into the apparatus
the methane could rapidly combust resulting in a tragic explosion. Are you
working in a hood with a proper blast shield?
Regards and good luck
> "God does not play dice."
> - A. Einstein
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