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4th Edition of

Chemistry World Conference

June 17-19, 2024 | Paris, France

Chemistry 2024

Jean Maruani

Speaker at Chemistry World Conference 2024 - Jean Maruani
LCP-MR / CNRS, France
Title : Quantum theory concepts and biological evolution paths from structure waves in biopolymers


The Lamarckian theory of biological evolution assumed that changes induced by the environ- ment on what we now call a ‘phenotype’ could be transferred to its ‘genotype’, while the Darwinian the- ory was based on natural and sexual selection of those ‘genotypes’ which showed up in fit ‘phenotypes’. Darwinian mechanisms have proven quite efficient in explaining microevolution processes, but not suf- ficient to understand such macroevolution phenomena as speciation, radiation, and punctuated equilibria, which involve highly coordinated, structural and functional biological changes.

The fact that nucleic acids bearing the genetic material are amenable to quantum theory, as was foreseen by Schrödinger, suggests that the physico-chemical dynamics of these biomolecules and of their coded proteins over extended time scales could play a role in these coordinated changes. As wave mechanics took its roots in the de Broglie analysis of the Maupertuis and Fermat principles, one may go further and wonder if an integral formulation involving a extremum principle may not be derived for the biological evolution as well, which would make its finalist flavour compatible with the determinist views.

In the present talk, we propose to define a ‘biological extremal principle’ which could be used to uncover phylum evolution paths by maximizing the convolution of a complexity functional involving Clausius and

/ or Kolmogorov entropies and a fitness functional to be defined from former evolution theories:

E [q] º (G * V) [q] º òòG (q - qa, v - va, t) V (qa, va, t) dqa dt ; dE / dq = 0.

As the Hamilton principle could be derived by the Feynman path-integral formulation, which involved constructive / destructive interferences of quantum waves, such an biological extremal principle may be derived from the structure waves expressing nucleic-acid and related protein structures. We propose an elaborated code for expressing such structure waves in nucleic acids and related proteins, and illustrate our code on a velvet-tobacco mottle-virus satellite RNA.


Jean Maruani was born on the 28th of December 1937 in Tunis to a middle-class Sephardic family. He makes polyvalent studies in Paris, collaborates with the CEA, the Pasteur Institute, the LCIE, and gets a Doctorat ès-Sciences Physiques at Sorbonne in 1966 under the supervision of Pr Roland Lefebvre (Jury chaired by Pr Alfred Kastler). Then he takes a two-year leave to Charles McDowell’s group at the Depart-ment of Chemistry of UBC (Vancouver, Canada). In 1968 he gets a permanent position at the CMOA of CNRS directed Pr Raymond Daudel.

Jean Maruani has been teaching engineering students at UBC and teaching students at Sorbonne. He has published about 150 papers, mostly theoretical but also experimental, on the Structure and Dynamics of Molecular Systems, especially in Magnetic Resonance and Photoelectron Spectroscopy. He has solved a number of pending problems and introduced novel concepts for non-rigid and approximate symmetries. Later he got involved in fundamental problems related to the Dirac electron properties and also designed a quantum theory of biological evolution aimed at reconciling determinist and finalist viewpoints. He has co-organized about 30 scientific meetings, co-edited about 50 volumes and founded a scientific journal and book series. He has created the CMOA Prize and Medal, respectively, for junior and senior scientists: https://lcpmr.cnrs.fr/content/qscp-quantum-systems-chemistry-physics-and-biology.

Jean Maruani has a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Sofia, a Golden Medal from the City of Paris, and he is Chevalier des Palmes Académiques and Corresponding Member of the European Academy. Although formally retired since 2005, he is actively involved in organizing a QSCP meeting every year in a different city of the world. He also gives talks on philosophical issues and is engaged in classical singing. In February 1969, he has married composer and pianist Marja Rantanen, from Turku (Finland): https://www.marja-rantanen.com/. They have 3 children and 6 grand-children.