Q:

What two colors of light drive most of photosynthesis?

A:

Quick Answer

The red and violet-blue light emitted from the sun are absorbed by the chlorophyll and used to drive most of photosynthesis. The green light is not absorbed and then reflected back which gives the leaves of plants their green color, according to the Central Michigan University.

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Full Answer

Plants use photosynthesis to convert light energy into chemical energy by using light, CO2 and H2O to make sugar. This process is performed in the chloroplast. The chloroplast consists of the stroma, and thylakoids which house chlorophyll, as reported by photosynthesis. Using chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and carotenoids, the absorption of light is measured by a spectrophotometer. This device then measures the intensity of electromagnetic radiation at different wavelengths. Chlorophyll a, which is the light-capturing pigment, uses more of the violet and reds while chlorophyll b, the accessory pigment, uses more of the blue, according to Boundless.

Plants use the visible light spectrum which is named because it is the only light that is visible to the human eye. This spectrum is located between the ultraviolet and infrared spectrums. Violet-blue has the most energy and shortest wavelength in the visible light while on the other end; red has the least amount of energy and longest wavelength, according to Pearson Education.

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