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Unformatted text preview: - 1 - The Biophysics of Light Sunlight is a form of energy known as electromagnetic energy (also known as radiations ). Electromagnetic energy travels in rhythmic waves which are disturbances of electric and magnetic fields. The range of radiation or electromagnetic energy is called the electromagnetic spectrum . The model of light as waves explains many of light’s properties, but in certain respects light behaves as though it consists of discrete particles, called photons . Photons- a quantum or discrete amount, of light energy Not all photons contain the same amount of light energy. The energy content of light is inversely proportional to the wavelength ( λ ) of light. When one increases, the other decreases. E α λ 1 violet ↓ λ ↑E; red ↑ λ ↓E In the visible light part of the electromagnetic spectrum, red light has the highest wavelength (750 nm) and the lowest energy . Violet has the lowest wavelength (380 nm) and the highest energy . When a photon meets a molecule, 1 of 3 things happens. 1. reflection – bounces back 2. transmission – passes through 3. absorption – takes in When a pigment absorbs the energy of a particular wavelength(s), the energy of the photon is taken over by the molecule raising electron(s) in the molecule from a ground state (low energy) to an excited state ( high...
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