Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, Daniele L. Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso


  • Kensei KobayashiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44185-5_5241


In chemistry and physics, quenching mainly refers to the effect of rapid cooling, though is used in various scientific fields to denote the rapid cessation of a reaction by rapid dilution, addition of another reagent, or change of temperature. In materials science, quenching is used to give special properties to materials by heating followed by rapid cooling. In optics, quenching refers to the decrease of  fluorescence intensity which occurs when an acceptor fluorophore is brought into close proximity of an excited donor fluorophore. When coexisting substances decrease fluorescence intensity by some processes such as a collision and a chemical reaction, the process is called chemical quenching.

In chemical evolution studies, quenching (rapid cooling) is quite important in the formation of organic compounds. Organic compounds tend to decompose when exposed to excessive amounts of energy, such as high temperatures. For example, amino acids are decomposed when they are heated...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Imai E-I, Honda H, Hatori K, Brack A, Matsuno K (1999) Elongation of oligopeptides in a simulated submarine hydrothermal system. Science 283:831–833CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yokohama National University, Tokiwadai, Hodogaya-kuYokohamaJapan