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wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

“Photo,” of course, refers to light; in biological/physiological reactions, the “photo” comes from the sun; an obvious example is the transformation of oxygen and carbon into glucose, food for the plant. Photosynthesis is therefore a process in which the energy in sunlight is stored in the bonds of glucose for later use.  But the term can be used more generally, as in photography, where the silver and other chemicals on the photographic plate are transformed into dark and light areas (in black-and-white photographs) by exposure to light. A more recent application of the term “photosynthesis” is in the physics and chemistry of a solar panel, which “synthesizes” solar energy into electrical energy. But the primary use of the term is in biology, to name the universal process of using the sun's energy to supply food for plants.

ssandhu05 | Student

Photosynthesis is a chemical process that many plants, some bacteria and algae use in order to make food for themselves. The process includes harnessing the light energy from the sun, carbon dioxide, and water. The end product at the end of the process is glucose (which is a sugar), and oxygen. The glucose is what is used for food, while the oxygen is just the waste product. This is similar to when we breath air; we take in oxygen and our waste product is carbon dioxide.

malkaam | Student

Photosynthesis , in the simplest of words can be defined as production of food using light i.e. photo to make food i.e. synthesis. To carry out the process of photosynthesis the three main elements needed are light, water and carbon dioxide. When plants carry out photosynthesis glucose is produced, which is a sugar that plants use for energy. The chemical equation for glucose is `C_(6)H_(12)O_(6)+O_(2)`

` ` Now the reactants and products that I've described above can be used to write a word equation that can further explain the process.


``Carbon Dioxide + Water  `--------->`    glucose + oxygen

Carbon dioxide, water, glucose and oxygen are reactants, whereas light is energy therefore it is above the arrow.

ssarfraz | Student


Photosynthesis is a chemical process through which plants, some bacteria and algae, produce glucose and oxygen from carbon dioxide and water, using only light as a source of energy.

Photosynthesis is a Greek word. PHOTO means Light and SYNTHESIS means a system to put together. By combining both words the meaning that we come to know is a system used to make "something" by using light energy. Now what does plants make? Plants make food i.e. glucose and oxygen, for themselves with water and carbon dioxide by using light energy.

The basic equation is shown below:-

6CO2 + 12H2O + sunlight ---> C6H12O6 +6O2 +6H2O
This can simply be stated as: six molecules of water plus six molecules of carbon dioxide produce one molecule of glucose plus six molecules of oxygen

The photosynthesis equation is a chemical representation of the process of photosynthesis which takes place in the chloroplasts. Plants take in carbon dioxide and water to produce glucose (a sugar) and oxygen. The following is the chemical equation, that expalins this process:

Carbon dioxide + water produces -> glucose + oxygen

There are small pigments in the living things that contain chloroplasts. These are green because of a colorant chlorophyll whose main function is to absorb sunlight.

Parts of Photo-synthesis are as follows:-

  1. Light Dependent Reaction (Light needed to produce organic molecules ATP and NADPH)
  2. Calvin cycle (Light Independent Reaction) (Dark reaction i.e. no light needed)

Why do Plants need energy?

Plants need energy in order to perform these seven life processes (put each functions first letters together, it will form a word MRS GREN which makes easy to remember these):-

  1. Movement
  2. Respiration
  3. Sensitivity
  4. Growth
  5. Reproduction
  6. Excretion
  7. Nutrition


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givingiswinning | Student

Photosynthesis is when plants use sunlight to create glucose (sugar). 

ayamshrestha | Student

Photosynthesis can be defined as the process in which plants prepare their food in the presence of sunlight and water. 

The following reaction is takes place when photosynthesis takes place :

6CO2 + 6H2O (+ light energy) → C6H12O6 + 6O2.

i.e. carbon dioxide + water +light energy (sunlight) --> sugar + oxygen

kevin0001 | Student

Photosynthesis is when plants uses any light, ( usually sunlight ) and converts them into energy or food for it to live. When in this process, plants releases oxygen like we do except we release carbon dioxide. Using photosynthesis, plants can make their own food unlike other living beings that have to search for their own food.

parama9000 | Student

Photosynthesis is the process whereby plants take in carbon dioxide from the surroundings in the presence of light and convert it to oxygen and water vapor.

ik9744 | Student

Photosynthesis is when plants turn sunlight into fun releasing oxygen.

eli468 | Student

"Photosynthesis is the complex process by which carbon dioxide, water, and certain inorganic salts are converted into carbohydrates by green plants, algae, and certain bacteria, using energy from the sun and chlorophyll." Chlorophyll is the green color of leaves and plants.

Photosynthesis is one of the most important biological processes on Earth because it has helped to create some of the biggest energy sources such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum as well as produces oxygen that we breath. What is does is plants that photosynthesize will take a large amount of energy from the sun, CO2, H2O, and minerals too and convert it into electrical and chemical energy. The carbohydrates it creates is needed as nourishment not only for the plants but for whoever eats it.

crystaltu001 | Student

Photosynthesis is when plants use the sunlight as a source to make food like sugar.

melissa1106 | Student

Photosynthesis is the process used by plants to make their own food. Plants have chloroplasts, and within those chloroplasts photosynthesis takes place. Photo synthesis uses carbon dioxide, water and light to create sugar and oxygen which is a byproduct of the reaction. Plant use the sunlight to make food for themselves.

mchandrea | Student

In lay man's term, photosynthesis is simply the process of "food-making" for plants. It is the process of converting light energy to chemical energy which is stored as sugar. Photosynthesis requires carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O), and light energy. The overall chemical reaction of photosynthesis is: 

6 CO2 + 6 H2O (+ light energy) ---> C6H12O6 + 6 O2

There are two parts of the process, the light reaction and the dark reaction. Literally, light is required in the light reaction but not in the dark reaction. Check out this site for a very well explained discussion. And if you are still confused, listen to this photosynthesis song. It actually helped me pass my Biology class.

jess1999 | Student

Photosynthesis is the process of converting light energy into chemical energy. Basically photosynthesis is the process of how plants are able to obtain energy.

The equation for photosynthesis is :

6CO2 + 6H2O (+ light energy) → C6H12O6 + 6O2.

carbon dioxide + water +light energy (sunlight) --> sugar + oxygen

jcstew2 | Student

In the simplest form photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert sunlight into sugars to provide energy for them to live.  This means that plants can take light energy and convert it into chemical energy. Photosynthesis is extremely vital for humans because plants take in the carbon dioxide humans give off and using that carbon dioxide can eventually create air for humans.  Oxygen is traditionally a by product of the photosynthesis process.  However, it should be further noted that although water does not directly relate to photosynthesis a plant will ultimately die without water, so photosynthesis would be unable to occur.

CaitlynnReeves | Student

Simply put, photosynthesis is how plants get energy.

Sunlight is gathered through leaves and petals, then processed in organelles called chloroplasts. There, the sunlight is converted into glucose through the Calvin Cycle

Photosynthesis is exremely important as it is the first step in making energy available to primary, secondary, and tertiary consumers (basically all life forms).

atyourservice | Student

photosynthesis is a method plants use to transfrom sunlight into "food" (glucose)

Photosynthesis is a process through which plants use sunlight (photo refers to light) to make food, usually glucose. 

zumba96 | Student

'Photo' refers to light in a biological term. Synthesis is the production in a way basically the total term is a process. This process happens when plants make their own food from sunlight and turn it into sugar or glucose. Unlike humans who get their food from the store the plants use sunlight to transfer the energy into sugar and it transfers sunlight to energy in a similar way solar panels are used. 

clyoon | Student

Photosynthesis is the process through which plants make their own food. They make food by absorbing sunlight and turning it into sugar (glucose). Photosynthesis is the conversion of light energy to chemical energy (food) by plants. It's a quite complicated process, but during it, hydrogen, oxygen, ATP, CO2, NADPH and ADP are involved. Carbohydrates are made and all that fun stuff. But in the very end, you get glucose, C6H12O6, and the plant has food for itself. Photosynthesis is what makes the plants producers, not consumers.

rimmery | Student

The simplest way to explain photosynthesis is that it is the way in which plants make food. Photosynthesis is the name of the process that happens when plants use sunlight to create food for themselves (in this case,  the "food" is called sugar [or glucose, which is a more technical term.])``

rachellopez | Student

Photosynthesis is when plants use sunlight to create glucose (sugar). There are a lot of steps that are involved in this process. First, sunlight is absorbed by chlorophyll, which then splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. Energy is then released and put into the Calvin cycle and stored as ATP and NAD PH2 molecules. Next, carbon dioxide turns into carbohydrates. Out of the Calvin cycle comes sugars and everything kind of starts over. That was a super simplified version. This is a complicated process to explain, since there is a lot of information, so I will link a helpful video and some websites. 

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