Cosmology, astrobiology, and the RNA world: Just add quintessential water
Laboratory generation of water nanoclusters from amorphous ice and strong terahertz (THz) radiation fromwater nanoclusters ejected from water vapour into a vacuum suggest the possibility of water nanoclusters ejected into interstellar space from abundant amorphous ice-coated cosmic dust produced by supernovae explosions.
The dark energy believed to be responsible for the accelerating expansion of our
universe is usually considered to be a separate problem from dark matter and to be associated with zero-
point-energy fluctuations of the cosmic vacuum. However, quantum field theory predicts a vacuum energy
density that is too large by a factor of 10120, which is the well-known cosmological constant problem .
I propose that nanoclusters of water molecules ejected by cosmic rays from amorphous
ice layers on ubiquitous cosmic dust produced from exploding supernovae (Matsuura et al. 2019), albeit at
low density compared to elemental hydrogen and oxygen, excited to their diffuse Rydberg states (Herzberg
1987), are a possible candidate for baryonic dark matter.
Planets, and moons, as well as water vapor in solar atmospheres, nebulae, and distant
quasars are widely present throughout the cosmos, and therefore should be
included as possible sources of cosmic water nanoclusters. In fact, water clusters have been detected
recently in the hydrothermal plume of Enceladus – a moon of Saturn.
Finally, from the quantum chemistry of cosmic water nanoclusters interacting with prebiotic organic molecules,
amino acids and RNA protocells on early Earth and habitable exoplanets, this scenario is consistent
with the anthropic principle that our universe is a connected biosystem and has those properties which
allow life, as we know it – based on water, to develop at the present stage of its history.
Although this paper is “out of the box” of generally popular inflationary cosmology and multiverse
theory, it is not the only example. Other “cyclic-universe” theories
have been widely promoted while critiquing the multiverse scenario.
Johnson, K. (2021). Cosmology, astrobiology and the RNA world: Just add quintessential water. International Journal of Astrobiology, 20(2), 111-124. doi:10.1017/S1473550420000403