|Why does light affect the rate of photosynthesis?|
Photosynthesis requires PHOTONS which are the
elementary quanta of light. The energy of
a photon is completely described by its color or
wavelength. The intensity of light is related to
the NUMBER of photons in a stream; it is the
amplitude squared of the light treated as a wave.
So, the reactions to run photosynthesis depend
on the number of photons or the intensity of
Light is an ingredient or “reactant” for making
sugars through photosynthesis. Photosynthesis
literally means “putting together from
light.” With most chemical reactions, the more
of a reactant you have, the faster the reaction
is. Light energizes an electron which ultimately
combines with carbon dioxide and water to make
sugars. So the more light there is, the faster
sugars can be made.
Light is a form of energy. Photosynthesis needs
energy, to make sugar out of carbon dioxide and
water. With more solar energy, there is more
energy for more photosynthesis.
It's like the food energy we need to grow and
move and think. If we have more food, we grow
Photosynthesis uses light as its fuel source.
Without light, it has no energy.
Photosynthesis involves a special kind of
chemical reaction that uses light as an energy
source. In fact, the "photo" in the word
"photosynthesis" means light. This is the same
reason that particles of light are called
When the right kind of photon hits a chlorophyll
molecule, it triggers a chemical reaction
that is crucial to photosynthesis. We call this
chemical reaction the light-dependent
reaction. The reaction that actually produces
sugar, the light-independent reaction, cannot
start until it has the product from the
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