Light Begins

Topics: Photosynthesis, Chlorophyll, Spectroscopy Pages: 4 (1040 words) Published: April 22, 2013
"The light begins…the light ends"
Dulce Maldonado

In this lab the students did two labs in which they learned the process of photosynthesis, which involves the use of light energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar, oxygen, and other organic compounds. Oxygen is released as a product. This process is often summarized by the following reaction: 6CO2 + 12H2O ------> C6H12O6 + 6H2O + 6O2

The energy of photosynthesis comes from absorbed photons found in light and involves a reducing agent, in this case water. The second lab is about the spectrophotometer where they learned that it’s an instrument that measures the amount of light of a specific wavelength that passes though the medium.

The purpose of this lab experiment is to separate plant pigments using paper chromatography, and to measure the rate of photosynthesis in isolated chloroplasts. Because of capillary action the solvent moves up the paper causing the pigments to become visible at certain distances. The substances visible on the paper are called pigments. Chlorophyll a is the main pigment that makes up about 75% of the pigmentation in plants. Chlorophyll b makes up about 25% of the pigmentation. And carotenes and xanthophyll’s are accessory pigments that make up the rest of the pigmentation. Carotene is the most soluble of the pigments and as a result will be carried the farthest by the solvent. Chlorophylls absorb blue and red light while carotenoids absorb blue-green light, but green and yellow light are not effectively absorbed by phosynthetic pigments in plants therefore light of these colors is either reflected by leaves or passes through the leaves. This explains why plants are green. Photosynthesis is important to our environment because nearly all-living things depend on the energy produced from photosynthesis for their nourishment. It is a cycle because animals need from the plants to feed on as well as oxygen. The paper will display a spectrum...
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