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What Is Photosynthesis? From Light Energy to Chemical …
The story charted in the following pages will reveal how a life's calling was realized over the course of forty-plus years. In its beginning stages, a tapestry of people in Schulten's early adulthood, when woven together, led to a familiarity and then a fascination with photosynthesis. Despite this fascination, Schulten at one point had to wait ten years before he could do the kinds of calculations he deemed worthy of publication: “What I really like about the photosynthesis is it goes from the molecule, even the electron, to the whole cell. And that is basically what I always wanted to do; that is why I stuck with it for a long time.”
It is instructive to compare the evolution of the Earth's atmosphere to that of its neighbor planets Venus and Mars. All three planets presumably formed with similar assemblages of elements but their present-day atmospheric compositions are vastly different (). Venus has an atmosphere ~100 times thicker than that of Earth and consisting mostly of CO2. Because of the greater proximity of Venus to the Sun, the temperature of the early Venus was too high for the outgassed water to condense and form oceans (see for further discussion). As a result CO2 remained in the atmosphere. Water vapor in Venus's upper atmosphere photolyzed to produce H atoms that escaped the planet's gravitational field, and the O atoms left behind were removed by oxidation of rocks on the surface of the planet. This mechanism is thought to explain the low H2O concentrations in the Venusian atmosphere. On Earth, by contrast, the atmosphere contains only 10-5 of all water in the surface reservoirs (the bulk is in the oceans) so that loss of water to outer space is extremely slow and is compensated by evaporation from the oceans.
Explain Photosynthesis | Sciencing
Through high school Schulten continued to read on his own about science, finding very little stimulating on it in the classroom. In fact, because he liked to challenge his teachers with the things he taught himself, he was given the nickname “Professor” by his classmates. “When I got my degree at the high school, the teachers asked me, what do you want to study, and I said I want to study it all: chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biology. And that, of course, was further proof for them that I was totally crazy.”
Chlorophyll is the molecule that traps this 'most elusive of all powers' - and is called a photoreceptor. It is found in the chloroplasts of green plants, and is what makes green plants, green. The basic structure of a chlorophyll molecule is a , co-ordinated to a central atom. This is very similar in structure to the group found in , except that in heme the central atom is iron, whereas in chlorophyll it is magnesium.
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Since this was such a tricky problem to solve, Schulten put a big group of people on it: three graduate students and a new post-doc, chemist Xiche Hu. Over the course of several months, as the intricacy and complexity of the problem grew and grew, everyone would drop out of the project except Xiche Hu, the others daunted by what was known as the phase problem.
General concept map to explain the photosynthesis features.
The Chemical Equation of Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis can be represented using a chemical equation
The overall balanced equation is..
Photosynthesis is the process in which plants convert sunlight into energy and store it as sugar
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