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In the Photosynthesis lab, you will learn about the molecular processes that enable plants and algae to convert the light energy into chemical energy.

About This Simulation

Photosynthesis uses the energy in sunlight to produce the chemical energy needed for life. This virtual lab focuses on the light reaction of photosynthesis, and on the molecular mechanisms that allow plants and algae to capture sunlight and convert it into chemical energy. Students proceed at their own pace and test learned knowledge instantly by answering quiz questions.

In this lab, the student learns how light energy is converted into chemical energy. They will extract the photopigments of an unknown algal strain and determine photosynthetic activity with the Hill reaction.



Learning Objectives

  • Understanding the importance of photosynthesis
  • Understanding properties of light and why pigments are colorful
  • Absorbance spectra and chemical properties of chlorophyll
  • Understanding the photolysis of water and electron transport
  • Understanding how to measure the redox potential of the electron transport chain
  • Hypothesis development and experiment set up to test it


  • Centrifugation
  • Working with liquid nitrogen
  • Pigment extraction
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Hill reaction
  • Working with experimental controls

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