Explain why chlorophyll appears green to us in terms of what happens to different wavelengths of light that strike a chlorophyll molecule.


Question: Explain why chlorophyll appears green to us in terms of what happens to different wavelengths of light that strike a chlorophyll molecule.

Chlorophyll appears green because it absorbs light most efficiently in the blue and red parts of the spectrum. The green part of the spectrum is not absorbed but rather reflected, which is why plants appear green to our eyes. Specifically, when light strikes a chlorophyll molecule, certain wavelengths are absorbed and used in the process of photosynthesis. This absorption occurs because chlorophyll has a specific chemical structure that only allows it to absorb light in the blue and red wavelengths effectively. The energy from the light absorbed at these wavelengths is used to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars and oxygen. The green wavelengths, however, are not absorbed and are instead reflected, which gives chlorophyll—and the plants that contain it—their green color.

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