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Photosynthesis

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Purpose: To familiarize oneself the process of photosynthesis, pigments light absorption and the process of chromatography.

Procedures:
Experiment A – White Light and the Visible Spectrum:
Washed and dried 5 50ml beakers.
Wrapped each beaker in tin foil and filled them with 40mL of NaHCO3 solution.
Cut 125 spinach discs from the spinach leaves and put the disks into a 250nL side-arm- Erlenmeyer flask filled with 150mL of NaHCO3 solution.
Applied a vacuum to the flask for about thirty seconds, shaking the flask gently every ten seconds, and stopped the vacuum. The spinach discs sunk to the bottom of the flask.
Transferred spinach discs from the flask to the tin foiled beakers; 25 discs into each beaker.
Covered four of the beakers: one with a red film, one with a blue film, one with a green film and one with a tin foil. The other beaker was left uncovered.
Set the colored and uncovered beakers under a lamp and set the tinfoil covered beaker into a drawer for 1 hour.
After one hour had elapsed, we counted the number of spinach discs floating in each beaker.
The data from this part of the experiment is in table 7A.1 Experiment A Observations/Conclusion: Knowing that photosynthesis does not happen in the dark or in green light, helped with the outcome of this experiment. There were not many spinach discs floating in the beakers but we were able to make educated guesses by knowing the in blue, red or white (all colored) light, photosynthesis will occur. Every beaker had 25 discs in each so we were able to have a stable base number for comparisons. According to our data, white light had the highest rate of photosynthesis, indicated by the percent of floating spinach discs. Red light was right under that and blue light under red light, in rate of photosynthesis. Experiment B – Chromatography of Plant Pigments:

Washed and dried 1 large test tube.
Picked up a strip of chromatography paper by the straight edge and placed it on a piece of...

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