What is Chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll is a complex molecular compound found in all green plants. To the human eye, chlorophyll appears green and is responsible for the plant's color. It is responsive to the presence of light, be it sunlight or artificial light. Chlorophyll is contained solely within a specialized structure contained within all plant cells, called the chloroplast. It is at this site where photosynthesis takes place, instigated by the chlorophyll.
What is Photosynthesis?
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants containing chlorophyll are able to use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to produce food. This food exists as a chemical which then may be broken down by the mitochondria--a structure contained within every cell of the plant--to produce chemical energy which the plant uses to grow and live.
First, individual bursts of light energy, called photons, pass through the leaves of the plant to be absorbed by the chlorophyll contained within the chloroplasts. Electrons in the chlorophyll are excited by the presence of the photons, and are passed along the vascular transport system contained within the body of the chloroplast. During this transport, the electrons combine with water and carbon dioxide to form a compound known as ATP. This compound is then passed out of the chloroplast into the neighboring mitochondria, where it is broken down to create glucose. The glucose is the same as the raw sugar which the human brain requires to function, and is absorbed by the plant's cell in order to continue living.
What Makes Chlorophyll Appear Greeen?
Chlorophyll is green to the human eye as a result of the wavelengths of light which it can absorb during photosynthesis. There are three primary colors of light within the visible human spectrum: red, green and blue. When their various wavelengths are combined, they cause us to see light as we know it, or colored light depending on the sum total of the combined wavelengths. Chlorophyll is particularly effective at absorbing those red and blue wavelengths of light. However, it can not absorb the green wavelengths of light very well. As a result, it reflects the green wavelengths, which when they hit our eyes, we perceive as the color green. This is why plants typically appear green as well as why chlorophyll looks green to us.
- Photo Credit www.lifedynamix.com
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