The Miller-Urey Experiment
This experiment was exploring the beginnings of life on Earth which still is a huge question and one that we haven’t totally figured out yet. In 1952 Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey placed the gases and liquids (Ammonia, Water, Methane and Hydrogen) though to be present in the early Earth’s atmosphere inside a closed system designed to replicate that primitive atmosphere see photo 4. The components included a boiling flask to heat and circulate the solution, an electric current to replicate the lightning storms which stimulated the atmosphere.
At the end of one week they observed many amino acids in the solution which could not have been formed by living organisms contaminating the system due to the heat. This experiment showed that organic compounds such as amino acids essential to cellular life, could be made easily under the conditions that scientists believed to be present on the early earth.
There now some reservations and criticisms regarding the experiment- including the energy available, the components and the apparatus design. However on the whole a neat experiment.
Check out the original paper here