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.
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.
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.
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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.
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 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.