Photosynthesis

I like to understand how nature works so I paid attention in biology lessons and have learned about photosynthesis.

 

The cool thing is that plants can make nourishment for themselves by trapping energy from the sun in their leaves. Plant cells contain chloroplasts which enable the plant to make a number of chemical reactions by using the energy in sunlight. Photosynthesis literally means “putting together by light”.

 

Those chemical reactions produce glucose from water and carbon dioxide! As a by-product of the reactions, oxygen is formed – great for all the humans on the planet and one of the reasons we so need plantlife.  Plants use the glucose for their growth, since it’s packed with energy, and they also make starch. Starch is used by the plant as an energy store and to produce cellulose, used in their cell walls.

 

Photosynthesis is the process by which everything on life is sustained because it enables plants to grow, and those plants, either directly or indirectly, feed just about every living thing.

 

So photosynthesis is cool. If only we humans could convert sun into food and didn’t have to eat and grow fat haha.

 

To dive a little more into the technicalities of photosynthesis, 6 carbon dioxide molecules are combined with 6 water molecules to form a single molecule of glucose, plus 6 molecules of oxygen.  All by using the sun’s free energy.  I can’t help feeling there’s a lesson here for scientists.

 

The green colour of leaves comes from chlorophyll, which reflects green light and absorbs blue and red light. It’s the main pigment in the photosynthesis process.

 

Interesting stuff, and that’s why our countryside is so green.

 

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