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In their study, the team first sought to understand the basis of chirality and how it occurs in nature. As an initial understanding, regular triangles are achiral in nature while human hands are chiral. Two achiral objects or molecules can be superimposed on top of each other. Several biomolecules within the body exist in one chiral form and the other form is not present. In their quest to determine how chiral objects are formed, they used achiral particles from which chiral structures are formed spontaneously. They employed the technique of lithography to manufacture millions of achiral particles in the shape of a triangle. With the help of optical microscopy, dense systems of such achiral triangular particles were studied which revealed that several of these achiral particles spontaneously arranged themselves into two-triangle super-structures, each of which exhibited a particular chiral form. This is visible by the specific orientations of the super-structures when viewed under microscopy. This discovery lead the team to conclude that biological chirality was the result of the physical phenomena of entropy. This study has shown that chiral structures can form when physical entropic forces act on achiral particles which are of uniform nature. These achiral particles spontaneously form chiral structures through Brownian movement when placed on a flat surface.
While the phenomena of entropy are generally considered to cause disorganization of molecules, however, in this case the interaction of particles at a high density has resulted in an increased ability to move in a regulated manner. This has caused the particles to change into a partially ordered liquid crystal which, in turn, consists of chiral triangular shaped super-structures. With this experiment, the team has concluded that for chirality to spontaneously occur, two physical entities, namely entropy and the physical
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