In the search of extraterrestrial life, science fictions writers and scientists have proposed life based on the element silicon, instead of life that
is like ours based on carbon. This research project will research the possibility of silicon-based life. The research project will focus on life with
a molecular design similar to terrestrial life. This is because it is very difficult to come up with a totally different structure of life than we
know it. I propose than in a post at the end we will devote some time to the possibility of these totally different structures, but these will not be
the main focus of the project.
The different subtopics:
1 The history of the proposal of silicon-based life in science-fiction and science.
2 What are the special properties of carbon, especially in terms of molecular structures, that make it the basis of our form of life? What is required
chemically for life?
3 Why is silicon proposed as an alternative to carbon-based life?
4 Does silicon have the properties as described in (1)?
5 If silicon does not have the properties as described in (3), does the lack of these properties pose a unsolvable problem for silicon as the basis of
life? If not, what are possible solutions to this problem?
6 What is the best environment for silicon-based life, keeping in mind (5)?
7 Does the environment described in (6) possible? If so, is it possible in our solar system?
8 Is there a possibility of silicon-based life that is totally different from life as we know it?
It is very probable that some of these subtopics will get subtopics themselves. This will be determined after the preliminary research.
What does my ideal team look like?
- One of two chemist(s) for (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7) and (8).
- A biologist for (2), (5), (6), (8).
- An astronomer for (7).
- A geologist for (7).
- A science-fiction reader for (1) and (8) (science-fiction sometimes has nice ideas)
The astronomer and the geologist could be the same person. It will probably be impossible to find qualified scientists for every position, so
interested laymen with knowledge of the subject will have to do.
Do you want to participate in this project? You have to be dedicated and you require knowledge of one the subjects described above. Send me a U2U
describing why you want to do participate in this project and why I should choose you. If you have any special qualifications and knowledge, please
include that as well. More information about the Research project