Explain Photosynthesis

By Eric Tilden
Photosynthesis is important for all life on our planet.

Photosynthesis allows plants to convert light into food, removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releases oxygen into the atmosphere. Without plants that perform photosynthesis, the oxygen on our planet would be used up and all oxygen breathers would choke on a carbon-dioxide rich atmosphere.

Definition

Plants converrt sunlight into energy.

Photosynthesis is the process in which plants convert sunlight into energy and store it as sugar. The plant uses special green pigments called chlorophyll to absorb the energy from the sun.

Chemical Formula

There is a chemical formula for photosynthesis.

The chemical formula to photosynthesis is written as 6H20 + 6CO2 --> C6H12O6 + 6O2 by chemists--that is translated as six water molecules plus six carbon dioxide molecules yields one molecule of sugar and six oxygen molecules.

Process

Plants absorb red and blue light.

Plants absorb red and blue light into the thylakoid membrane of the plant cell, converting it to chemical energy. The chemical energy also is known as adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. Within the chloroplast, carbon dioxide is combined with components from the ATP process to form sugar.

Leaf Structure

Leaves begin the photosynthesis process.

Leaves are the solar collectors that begin the photosynthesis process. Leaves are covered with a waxy substance called a cuticle that allows them to retain water. Holes called stoma allow carbon dioxide to enter and oxygen to escape. Xylem cells inside the vein transport water from the roots to the leaves so photosynthesis can take place.

Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll absorbs the light rays of the sun.

Chlorophyll is a complex molecule that absorbs the light rays of the sun. There are two types of chlorophyll molecules, A and B. Type A, found in all organisms that undergo photosynthesis, absorbs violet-blue and reddish orange-red light, whereas type B absorbs green and orange-red light, an adaptation for plants that live below 16 feet of water, where violet-blue and reddish orange-red light has trouble reaching.

About the Author

Eric Tilden is a fantasy novelist and author of a weekly newsletter for P*JET * IMAGES, an online art website. He has been working on his fiction novels since 2005, and has written for Demand Studios since June 2009. Tilden attended the University of Michigan-Flint, obtaining an education in art, music theory, archaeology, accounting, calculus and basic graphic design.