Plants capture free energy from the environment using a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis occurs when plants capture light energy from the sun and convert it into chemical energy, like glucose. The chemical formula for photosynthesis is 6CO2+6H2O+light---->C6H1206+6O2. This can also be written carbon dioxide+water+light energy----->sugar(glucose)+oxygen. Photosynthesis takes place in the plants chloroplast. And chloroplasts contain chlorophyll, a very important substance. Chloroplasts are usually portrayed as "a big fat sack of chlorophyll"(Crash Course, Photosynthesis), but they are not, they are very complex. They have thylakoids, they have stroma, which is where the Calvin Cycle happens, and they also have pigments that absorb the light. And these pigments are the base of photosynthesis. .
These pigments absorb light from the sun, and combine carbon dioxide and water to "convert it into energy for the plant"(UCSB Science Line). The pigments absorb only certain wavelengths of light. Because the plant is green, that means that the pigment, chlorophyll, is absorbing non-green light and reflecting the green light, which is 500-550nm. The colors that chlorophyll absorb are "the blues (425-450 nm), [and] the reds and yellows (600-700 nm)"(UCSB Science Line) In this experiment, we will be testing if chlorophyll can make photosynthesis happen with different wavelengths using spinach disks and 4 different colored 100W light bulbs. We will see which wavelength (light bulb) works the best at making photosynthesis occur. So if chlorophyll can make photosynthesis occur out of different wavelengths, than the red wavelength will have the most spinach disks rising.
II. Materials and Methods.
Sodium bicarbonate (Baking soda).
Plastic Syringe (10 cc or larger)-needle removed.
Leaf material (spinach).
4 400 mL beakers.
White light (100W).
Green light (100W).