Humans in every civilisation have always been intrigued by the question of the origin of life. During thousands of years, numerous answers have been provided by mystics and clerics. Then, philosophers offered their own speculative solutions of this conundrum. Science entered the field not long ago. Systematic investigations of physical and chemical phenomena, which likely played a role in the origin of life, began in the middle of last century. Currently, it represents a strong research stream wherein also our Institute participates.
In late nineties, a unique terawatt iodine (1315.2 nm) laser system Asterix IV, originally developed, built and operated at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching near Munich, was moved to Prague.