Reviews of topical problems

21st century: what is life from the perspective of physics?

Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Institutskaya str. 3, Pushchino, Moscow Region, 142290, Russian Federation

The evolution of the biophysical paradigm over 65 years since the publication in 1944 of Erwin Schrouml;dinger’s What is life? The physical aspects of the living cell is reviewed. Based on the advances in molecular genetics, it is argued that all the features characteristic of living systems can also be found in nonliving ones. Ten paradoxes in logic and physics are analyzed that allow defining life in terms of a spatial — temporal hierarchy of structures and combinatory probabilistic logic. From the perspective of physics, life can be defined as resulting from a game involving interactions of matter one part of which acquires the ability to remember the success (or failure) probabilities from the previous rounds of the game, thereby increasing its chances for further survival in the next round. This part of matter is currently called living matter.

Fulltext is available at IOP
PACS: 01.65.+g, 01.70.+w, 87.23.-w (all)
DOI: 10.3367/UFNe.0180.201004a.0337
Citation: Ivanitskii G R "21st century: what is life from the perspective of physics?" Phys. Usp. 53 327–356 (2010)
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Оригинал: Иваницкий Г Р «XXI век: что такое жизнь с точки зрения физики» УФН 180 337–369 (2010); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0180.201004a.0337

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