Six Phases of Cosmic Chemistry

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HYLE--International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry, ISSN: 1433-5158, Vol: 20, Issue: 1, Page: 165-192

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Lukasz Lamza
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article description
The article presents a conceptually unified, quantitative account of the development of chemical phenomena throughout the cosmic history, with a detailed discussion of the cosmological, astrophysical, geological, biological and anthropological context. The totality of cosmic chemistry is represented by a list of 176 classes of phenomena, drawn from the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) library cataloguing system. This “bibliometric” method of quantifying complexity is described in detail and related to analogous methods employed in paleontology. The process is pedagogically divided into 6 phases: The Phase of No Chemistry, The Phase of Prestellar Chemistry, The Phase of Galactic Chemistry, The Phase of Planetary Chemistry, The Phase of Biological Chemistry and The Phase of Human History. These are separated by periods of intensive chemical innovation, likened to phase changes based on four similarities: the rapidity of change, its intensity, the presence of nucleation-like dynamics and dependence of outcome on history. The limitations and perspectives of the method are described, including the extension of the analysis to all 893 UDC classes relevant to the study of nature. The role of chemical phenomena in the general architecture of the universe is shortly discussed, especially their complex relationships with basic phenomena described by physics.

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