photosynthesis lab report

photosynthesis lab report - Heat Sinks: Do They Make a...

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Heat Sinks: Do They Make a Difference? Section 402 Neal Rasmussen Eiman Henson October 6, 2008 Pledge: This work is solely of my creation. No unauthorized assistance was received in its completion. ___________________________________
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Introduction As we all know, photosynthesis is used to convert light energy to chemical energy. It uses carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight to produce oxygen as well as carbohydrates such as glucose. The photosynthesis equation is as follows: H 2 O + CO 2 + Light (CH 2 O) + O 2. The molecule that is used to capture and absorb the sunlight is chlorophyll. This photoreceptor is found in the chloroplasts of green plants and is what gives green plants their color. The thylakoid membrane of the chloroplasts is where the “photo”, or light dependent, part of photosynthesis takes place. The “synthesis”, or light independent, part takes place in the stroma, which is the fluid that surrounds the thylakoids. In the Hills Reaction, Robert Hill demonstrated that during photosynthesis water is the source of electrons in the light reaction and not carbon dioxide. It showed that reactions giving up oxygen could occur without reactions that use carbon dioxide, giving way to the difference between light dependent and light independent reactions. Aside from the Hills Reaction, we know that during photosynthesis, electrons that were raised to a higher energy level are being moved around and electron-acceptor molecules are being reduced and oxidized, thus forming NADPH. NADP + and DPIP also play an important role. DPIP replaces NADP + as an electron receptor in light reactions. When DPIP is oxidized it produces a dark blue color. When it is reduced, it changes from blue to colorless. Looking at plants such as trees, I noticed that there must be an important reason why leaves are grown on stems and branches. It allows the light to reach them faster, which must be important since, as we just mentioned, light is an essential part of photosynthesis. With the light reaching the leaves directly, chlorophyll may begin to absorb the sunlight faster meaning the electrons would be boosted to a higher energy state more quickly. My lab partners and I believe that direct contact with light speeds up photosynthesis. For example, in a normal photosynthesis experiment, a large flask filled with water acts as a heat sink, which may slow down the process. Heat sinks absorb some of the heat given off from, in this case, the lamp. My lab partners and I
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photosynthesis lab report - Heat Sinks: Do They Make a...

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