TIMELINE and SYLLABUS

[The topics list is intended as a guide and may not be strictly adhered to.]

 

WEEK   TOPIC
1 Introduction and overview; Definitions of life; Life as we know it
2 Conditions and timescales for life's origins; Overview of scenarios for the origin of life
3 Origin of the biologically important chemical elements; stellar evolution and mass ejection
4 Galactic chemical evolution;
Interstellar matter and environments
5 Chemical processes in interstellar clouds; Star formation and proto-planetary disks
6

Origin and early history of our Solar System
Planetary habitability; Habitable zones

7 Mid-term exam
8 Searching for extrasolar planets; Comparing our Solar System with others
9 Origin and early evolution of the Earth;  Cosmic bombardment chronology
10 Early sources of volatiles and organics;  Origin of Earth's atmosphere and oceans
11 Hypotheses for the origin of life; RNA world;  The phylogenic tree and the first organisms
12 Searching for life elsewhere in our Solar System: Mars, Europa, Titan
13 Seeking biomarkers on extra-solar planets;  The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence
14 End-of-term exam