The Polarity, Light Absorption, And Effectiveness Of The Driving Forces Behind Photosynthesis

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rstanding the Polarity, Light Absorption, and Effectiveness of the Driving Forces Behind Photosynthesis: Pigments Kathryn Sawyer Abstract To understand pigments and their part in the essential process of photosynthesis, we constructed an experiment to discover first-hand the effectiveness of specific pigments found in pimento leaves. These two exercises would specifically focus on the difference in polarities and the different wavelengths at which each pigment absorbs light. The ultimate source of energy for most organisms is sunlight. This research expresses the importance in understanding the driving force behind crucial photosynthetic organisms that are responsible for converting solar energy into chemical energy and ultimately the fixation of carbon dioxide. The polarity of three of the specific pigments studied, chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and xanthophylls, was determined by separating the plant pigments by paper chromatography and calculating their Rf values. Once the pigments separated along the paper chromatography strip, we cut the different pigments bands and eluted them from the paper into a beaker filled with acetone. We were then able to analyze the wavelengths of light absorbed by the pigments through the use of a spectrophotometer. We predicted the wavelengths for chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, anthocyanidins, xanthophylls, and carotenoids. From the first experiment we were able to determine that xanthophylls, which traveled the farthest of the three, was

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