How did the miller-urey experiment test oparin’s hypothesis?

1 Answer
Jun 14, 2015

The Miller-Urey experiment tested Oparin's hypothesis by reproducing conditions that were believed to exist on the primitive Earth.


Oparin suggested that if the primitive atmosphere was reducing (oxygen-poor), and if there was an appropriate supply of energy such as lightning, then a wide range of organic compounds might be formed.

The experiment tested this hypothesis.

Miller passed a continuous electrical discharge simulating lightning through a mixture of gases (#"CH"_4#, #"NH"_3#, #"H"_2#, and#"H"_2"O"#), that were thought to make up the early Earth's atmosphere.

At the end of one week, as much as 10-15 % of the carbon was in the form of organic compounds.

About 2 % of the carbon had formed over 20 amino acids, including 13 of the 22 that are used to make proteins in living cells.