Back to Volume
Paper: Polarization of Leaves and Life
Volume: 449, Astronomical Polarimetry 2008: Science from Small to Large Telescopes
Page: 399
Authors: Sterzik, M.; Bagnulo, S.
Abstract: Homochirality (i.e., the exclusive use of L-amino-acids and D-sugar in biological material) causes a significant induction of circular polarization in the diffuse reflectance spectra of biotic materials. Among many other biopolymers, photosynthetic pigments (e.g. chlorophyll) induce between 0.1% and 1% circular dichroism in its absorption bands. By making use of astronomical instrumentation, namely, the EFOSC2 spectropolarimeter of the La Silla-Paranal Observatory, we have measured the circular polarization induced by reflectance of a Philodendron leaf in the optical range. Here we present our results, that can be eventually used for comparison with astronomical observations aimed at detecting pre-biotic material in solar-system bodies.
Back to Volume