Asymmetry

Studies on complex systems have emerged during the recent decades. The origin, evolution, and expression of asymmetry became an essential part of numerous complex systems. The journal Nature stated in 2012, that, in modern sciences, asymmetry-related phenomena belong to the five challenges as hard as finding the Higgs boson and just as potentially transformative.1 Asymmetry-related phenomena are an integral part in new developments in arts, language, and social sciences. They become of increasing importance in economy and likewise in natural science such as mathematics, physics, and chemistry individually contribute along with biology to the advanced understanding of microscopic and macroscopic asymmetries. In the frame of the strongly interdisciplinary Asymmetry Project of UCA’s2 Academy of Excellence “Complex Systems”, we organized the First European Asymmetry Symposium (see http://feas.fr), 15–16 March 2018 in Nice, France. With more than 200 participants, 30 oral presentations, contributions of representatives at Cambridge University, Collège de France, and Max Planck Society, an orchestra with more than 50 musicians, and an artist exhibition from the National School of Fine Arts at the Villa Arson, the First European Asymmetry Symposium was highly successful. Scientific and public outreach of our Symposium were extraordinary as evidenced by illustrated reports published in Nature3,Le Monde4 and in Science & Vie. Based on the success of the Symposium and its scientific and public outreach, we now edit a Special Issue on Asymmetry of the journal JIMIS. Please submit your manuscript until the deadline June 30th, 2018. Complex asymmetric systems such as the origin and evolution of asymmetric life, asymmetric amplification, asymmetric structures, asymmetry in economy and art – to name a few – are far from being understood and expressed. We expect that fundamental questions can be answered only through a trans-disciplinary approach that systematically complements the knowledge acquired in the traditional individual disciplines. The Special Issue on Asymmetry will summarize recent advances in the field. This edition of the Special Issue on Asymmetry is accompanied by the foundation of a new European Asymmetry (EA) Institute5 based at UCA. The EA Institute will be a virtual institute without walls that organizes high-level asymmetry-related research and provides a trans-disciplinary infrastructure for academic exchanges via conferences, presentations, and summer schools.

1. Philae Landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko – Planned Chirality Measurements and Ideas for the Future

Ulamec , Stephan ; Goesmann , Fred ; Meierhenrich , Uwe.
Philae is a comet Lander, part of the ESA Rosetta Mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. After a ten year cruise through the solar system it successfully landed on the nucleus of the comet on November 12, 2014. Philae's payload consists of ten scientific instruments, including COSAC, an evolved gas analyser with the capability to differentiate chiral molecules. After the touchdown of Philae, the anchoring harpoons, which were expected to fix the lander to ground, did not work, Philae bounced in the low gravity environment, and only came to rest after a 2 hours " hop " in an unforeseen area on the comet surface. Although, the scientific instruments, including cameras, mass spectrometers (including the one of COSAC), a magnetometer and a radar instrument could be operated, and fascinating, unprecedented scientific results were obtained, it was not possible to collect a sample of the surface material and no gas chromatography measurement could be performed. Thus, the measurement of the chirality of molecules on comets is still to be done in the future. The paper gives an overview of the Philae mission and the attempts to measure chiral molecules with COSAC, and suggests future measurements with returned samples from the primitive asteroids (162173) Ryugu and (101955) Bennu with the spacecraft Hayabusa 2 (JAXA) and OSIRIS-REx (NASA), respectively. Both will reach their targets in 2018.

2. On asymmetries in optics: fundamental considerations and some current applications

Lippi G.
International audience
Section: Complex Systems

3. Asymmetric Exchanges

Bouissou , Caroline ; Petitjean , Michel.
We emphasize the asymmetric character of exchanges between artists and scientists or mathematicians in the framework of multidisciplinary collaborations. As an example, we look at the perception of asymmetry in an artwork presented at the First European Asymmetry Symposium (FEAS), Nice, 15-16 March 2018, and its potential connection with the unsolved mathematical problem of maximal or asymptotically maximal asymmetric figures and distributions.
Section: Issues