In this course we'll cover the definition of photosynthesis, the equation for photosynthesis, as well as the reactants and products. Using diagrams of photosynthesis, we'll go over the formula and process.
Plants have a power we humans can only dream of - making food from sunlight. Sure, we can cook some savory dishes, but we use food already made, mostly by plants. This process of assembling carbohydrates fueled by the power of sunlight is called photosynthesis.
Keep in mind that the sun emits all sorts of different kinds of energy, such as heat and gamma rays, but photosynthesis specifically captures light energy. In addition, photosynthesis generates basic sugar molecules called glucose, which can be used to build more complex carbohydrates.
The prefix 'photo' means light, and 'synthesis' means to bring together. In other words, photosynthesis is the bringing together of molecules using light energy. Just what does the process of photosynthesis bring together to make sugar molecules? Two things: carbon dioxide and water.
How this process works can be understood from two overarching perspectives: matter and energy.
In terms of matter, photosynthesis takes smaller, simpler materials and assembles them into larger, more complex ones.
In terms of energy, photosynthesis transforms light energy from the sun into a form living things can access: the stored chemical energy in food molecules.