What is Photosynthesis?
How it works
Photosynthesis is the process that transforms organisms from light energy into chemical energy. In order for photosynthesis to take place, it needs these three things: Water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight. As humans, in order to live plants, must take in gases. Plants are known as “”autotrophs, which means organisms that can make their own food.
The process of photosynthesis was created and developed Jan Ingenhousz, a British physician and scientist. Joseph Priestley was another scientist who contributed to the discovery of photosynthesis Jan also discovered that plants have cellular respiration just like animals. Priestley discovered that plants absorb and make gases, he also identified “”gas like oxygen. Another fact that he discovered was, oxygen gives off more light than carbon dioxide that is given off in the dark.
How it works
Photosynthesis has two major stages, the light stage, and the dark stage. The light stage is used to make NADPH and ATP. NADPH gives the electrons to fix the carbon dioxide into carbohydrates. Dark reactions will not continue if plants are taken away from light for too long. “”Plants get carbon dioxide through their leaves and water from the ground through their roots, plants also make their own food from sunlight. During photosynthesis, plants make their own foods. The formula for photosynthesis is known as carbon dioxide + water + light energy > oxygen + glucose.
Gases get gas through the process called respiration. Respiration is the process that cells use oxygen to break down sugar and absorb energy, it is the opposite of photosynthesis. During respiration, oxygen is joined with hydrogen to form water for plants. This process involves using the sugars that were made during photosynthesis to produce energy for the growth of a plant. During respiration, plants take up nutrients just to keep the plant cells from dying. The formula for respiration is known as, oxygen + glucose > carbon dioxide + water + heat energy.
If there was no photosynthesis, we would not be alive today because there would be no oxygen or food for us to live. When it is daytime photosynthesis creates glucose and oxygen more quickly than respiration utilizes it. Photosynthesis occurs in the cells of plant leaves, it takes place in the chloroplasts. The cells in the plant take in light from the sun through chlorophyll. The stem and leaves of a plant have little holes called the stomata, this is where carbon dioxide enters the plant. When the carbon dioxide is sucked up by the leaves, water goes into the plant through the plant’s roots. When sunlight goes onto the leaves of a plant the chlorophyll traps the energy into the leaves and stores the energy.
The Calvin cycle is apart of photosynthesis, it is another word for light-independent reactions. The Calvin cycle is where chemical reactions occur in chloroplasts while photosynthesis is occurring. This cycle takes place in the stroma, this doesn’t need direct sunlight, the Calvin cycle also takes place at night time. ATP and NADPH are products of light reactions, ATP is present to be broken down to have energy released. NADPH is present to transform carbon dioxide molecules into glucose (sugars).
During darkness hours plants can’t perform photosynthesis so instead they do cellular respiration, which occurs in the mitochondria. During the dark reaction plants use carbon dioxide from the light-dependent reactions in order to produce glucose.
There are steps to photosynthesis in a plant of course but, what are these steps? You might ask. The first step is, the plant pulls up minerals and water from the ground’s roots, the second step is, leaves take in carbon dioxide, they do this to set free oxygen. The third step is the sunlight releases energy to the chloroplasts to create glucose which is sugar, the food. The last step is especially important because it provides energy for the plant so that it can produce sugars (glucose). When the sugar is made, it gets broken down by the mitochondria (used to produce energy in a cell) to produce energy for the growth of the plant.
Light-dependent reactions make molecules needed for the next stage of photosynthesis by using light energy, light energy is kinetic energy. Oxygen that is produced during the light-dependent reactions is released into the atmosphere. As said in paragraph 5, ATP and NADPH are products of light reactions moreover, are compounds and are made by sunlight being absorbed and converted into chemical energy. Light energy travels in waves and is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Pigments absorb the light that is used in the photosynthesis process.
In the 20th century, correlations between the photosynthetic procedures in green plants and in certain photosynthetic sulfur, microscopic organisms gave important data about the photosynthetic component. Sulfur microbes use hydrogen sulfide as a source of hydrogen and deliver sulfur rather than oxygen when photosynthesis is occurring. In the 1930’s, a Dutch biologist named Cornelis Van Niel recognized that the use of carbon dioxide in organic compounds in both photosynthetic organisms was similar. The biologist suggested that there were differences in the light-dependent stage and was used as a source for hydrogen atoms, Niel suggested that hydrogen should be transferred from hydrogen sulfide or into the water.
Overall, photosynthesis is a very complex process with steps involved. Photosynthesis is a very important part of life because it provides oxygen to all living things and living things need oxygen in order to survive. All organisms must grow and reproduce energy and without photosynthesis that wouldn’t be possible. The energy derived from the sun would be wasted without photosynthesis and would leave behind lifeless plants that we need on earth. Plants need photosynthesis and humans need plants, so where exactly would we be without photosynthesis?