Issues

 / 

2010

 / 

April

  

From the history of physics


How in the 20th century physicists, chemists and biologists answered the question: what is life?

 a,  b
a Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Butlerova 5-a, Moscow, 117485, Russian Federation
b National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

The most essential achievements in 20th century biology are analyzed and the question of how throughout the last century physicists, chemists and biologists answered the question “What is life?” is considered. The most considerable scientific achievement of 20th century biology, and perhaps of all science, is considered by many to be the discovery by biologist J Watson and physicists F Crick and M Wilkinson that resulted in establishing the DNA structure. The related work of well-known scientists of the USA and Europe, E Schrödinger, L Pauling, M Perutz, J Kendrew, and of the Russian scientists N K Koltsov, N V Timofeev-Resovsky, G A Gamow, A M Olovnikov, is analyzed. Presently, when the structure of DNA, the process of gene expression and even the genomes of human beings are already known, scientists realize that we still do not know many of the most important things. In our opinion, the 20th century studies of nucleic acids largely ignored the principle of the cyclic organisation of DNA. In this connection, we analyze the principle of cyclicity, which in its generality may well complement the concept of the atomic structure of matter.

Fulltext is available at IOP
PACS: 01.65.+g, 01.70.+w, 87.15.−v (all)
DOI: 10.3367/UFNe.0180.201004d.0393
URL: https://ufn.ru/en/articles/2010/4/d/
Citation: Reutov V P, Schechter A N "How in the 20th century physicists, chemists and biologists answered the question: what is life?" Phys. Usp. 53 377–396 (2010)
BibTexBibNote ® (generic)BibNote ® (RIS)MedlineRefWorks

Оригинал: Реутов В П, Шехтер А Н «Как в XX веке физики, химики и биологи отвечали на вопрос: что есть жизнь?» УФН 180 393–414 (2010); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0180.201004d.0393

References (138) Cited by (11) Similar articles (20) ↓

  1. I.L. Fabelinskii “The prediction and discovery of Rayleigh line fine structure43 89–103 (2000)
  2. M.V. Vol’kenshtein “Complementarity, physics, and biology31 140–150 (1988)
  3. F. Dyson “Birds and frogs in mathematics and physics53 825–834 (2010)
  4. G.R. Ivanitskii “X-men: humans with an unusual interaction between receptor systems who construct a world of new images within themselves (on the 140th anniversary of the birth of Academician P.P. Lazarev)62 711–734 (2019)
  5. V.V. Ragulsky ““The most remarkable of the scientists”: on the occasion of the 130th birthday of L I Mandelstam52 1177–1183 (2009)
  6. M.I. Monastyrskii “John von Neumann47 1271–1280 (2004)
  7. I.A. Shcherbakov “Development history of the laser54 65–71 (2011)
  8. V.V. Ragulsky “About people with the same life attitude: 100th anniversary of Lebedev’s lecture on the pressure of light54 293–304 (2011)
  9. V.P. Pastukhov “50 years of JETP Letters58 407–413 (2015)
  10. V.I. Sanyuk, A.D. Sukhanov “Dirac in 20th century physics: a centenary assessment46 937–956 (2003)
  11. I.L. Fabelinskii “The discovery of combination scattering of light in Russia and India46 1105–1112 (2003)
  12. V.P. Vizgin “On the discovery of the gravitational field equations by Einstein and Hilbert: new materials44 1283–1298 (2001)
  13. V.P. Vizgin “The nuclear shield in the ’thirty-year war’ of physicists against ignorant criticism of modern physical theories42 1259–1283 (1999)
  14. V.Ya. Frenkel’, P. Josephson “Soviet Physicists awarded stipends by the Rockefeller Foundation33 (11) 938–955 (1990)
  15. V.L. Ginzburg “My father and my family53 1171–1184 (2010)
  16. L.B. Okun “V A Fock and gauge symmetry53 835–837 (2010)
  17. V. Ambegaokar “The Landau school and the American Institute of Physics translation program51 1287–1290 (2008)
  18. G.V. Kiselev “L D Landau in the Soviet Atomic Project: a documentary study51 911–954 (2008)
  19. G.B. Malykin, V.S. Savchuk, E.A. Romanets “Lev Yakovlevich Strum and the hypothesis of the existence of tachyons55 1134–1139 (2012)
  20. A.V. Tan’shina “A.I. Akhiezer Institute for Theoretical Physics at the National Science Center “Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology”, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine: origins, events, facts, comments56 932–950 (2013)

The list is formed automatically.

© 1918–2021 Uspekhi Fizicheskikh Nauk
Email: ufn@ufn.ru Editorial office contacts About the journal Terms and conditions