Photosynthesis is an exceptionally interesting process that is used by some organisms and plants. In the conversion of light energy from the sun to chemical energy that is used as food, photosynthesis is used for the everyday undertakings by some organisms and plants during their life span. This complex method of energy production is also represented by the equation: 6CO2 + 6H2O C6H12O6 +6O2 (Campbell, 2008). The sun’s light waves, also known as radiation or electromagnetic energy, are measured and organized into the electromagnetic spectrum. Waves on the electromagnetic spectrum are measured in nanometers (nm); the shorter a wave is, the more energy it possesses, and the longer the wave the less energy it possesses (Wiles, 2013).
The sun’s light waves are absorbed and captured by the plant’s leaves to perform Photosynthesis. Photosynthesis occurs in organelles within plant leaves called chloroplasts. Chloroplasts contain chlorophyll, a light absorbing pigment that in different variations absorbs different wavelengths of light, as well as other light absorbing pigments like carotenoids and hydrocarbons (Campbell, 2008). Chlorophyll a and b along with carotenoids each have a different absorption spectrum that allows them to process a different wavelength of light for photosynthesis (Wiles, 2013).
In this experiment we tested varying wavelengths of light to see which would cause photosynthesis to occur to the greatest degree in spinach leaf disks. The spinach leaves were hole-punched to form 60 disks. These disks were placed in a solution of sodium bicarbonate and dish detergent to create a vacuum and remove all of the oxygen from their environment. This vacuum caused the disks to sink, and floating of the disks would indicate that photosynthesis has occurred because they had produced oxygen. Light was filtered through varying materials
References: Cited Campbell Biology (9th Edition).2011: Jane B. Reece, Lisa A. Urry, Michael L. Cain, Steven A. Wasserman, Peter V. Minorsky, Robert B. Jackson.