Help: Miller Spark Discharge Experiment (Chemical Evolution)

Ian Vaithilingam ianv at vianet.on.ca
Wed Feb 14 17:21:44 EST 1996

Fellow students, teachers, and scientists,

   I am looking for any info I can get on the Harold Urey/Stanley Miller
SPARK DISCHARGE EXPERIMENT first performed in 1953.  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.  After some time, Miller
discovered amino acids and other basic life elements present in the final

   **I would appreciate it if anyone could provide me with a LAB PROCEDURE
for this experiment, or point me in the right direction (like where to
order it).  Procedure for testing for presence of amino acids in a liquid
are also needed.  All we have right now is  picture of the apparatus with
basic descriptions.  Even ³small² details would be great.

   We are attempting to recreate the Miller experiment in a high school up
here in Northern Ontario.  Again, ANY help with how to carry out the
Miller experiment would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks...

                  Ian Vaithilingam <ianV at vianet.on.ca>
                  Biochemistry Dept (student)
                  O¹Gorman High School
                  Timmins, ON, Canada

please reply via email to  ianv at vianet.on.ca

                "God does not play dice."
                            - A. Einstein

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