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Photosynthesis Virtual Lab

Time to complete course: 59 min.Need help? Visit our Help Center.

About the Photosynthesis Virtual Lab Simulation

Join an interdisciplinary team on their quest to reduce the environmental impact of a community and learn how photosynthesis uses the energy in sunlight to produce the chemical energy needed for life.

Learn about the process of photosynthesis

The Photosynthesis 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. You will learn how to extract the photopigments of an unknown algal strain and determine photosynthetic activity with the Hill reaction. You can do all of this at your own pace and test your knowledge instantly by answering quiz questions.

Solve real-life environmental problems

In the Photosynthesis lab, you will be given the task to reduce the environmental impact of a community in cooperation with your virtual team.The goal is to use the waste products of a coal power plant and a salmon farm as resources for biofuel production. There is an algal strain that has the potential to use the whole spectrum of sunlight for photosynthesis.

Learn about pigment extraction and scientific process

One of your tasks in the Photosynthesis lab is to extract pigments of an algal strain and identify the pigments. Equipped with a centrifuge, a spectrophotometer, and all the necessary lab equipment, you will perform the pigment extraction and measure the absorbance spectra. You will also be given the task of developing a hypothesis and testing it by making choices regarding the experimental procedure. In that way, you will learn the importance of experimental controls, and you will also learn to analyze and report your results.

Understand the molecular processes

In order to prove that the discovered pigment is photosynthetically active, you will perform a Hill reaction experiment to measure the redox potential of the electron transport chain. You will learn about the different energy conversion processes that lead to the production of NADPH and ATP. Throughout the lab, you will be able to watch 3D animations that visualize the processes involved in photosynthesis. Be it from the location of the thylakoids and the importance of compartmentalization, to how the electrons are transferred from water to the reaction center.

Will you be able to apply your photosynthesis knowledge to complete the quest?

Get Started Now

Learn about the molecular processes that enable plants and algae to convert the light energy into chemical energy.

Techniques In Lab

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

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Understand the importance of photosynthesis
  • Understand properties of light and why pigments are colorful
  • Understand absorbance spectra and chemical properties of chlorophyll
  • Understand the photolysis of water and electron transport
  • Measure the redox potential of the electron transport chain
  • Develop a hypothesis and set up an experiment to test it

Screenshots of Photosynthesis Virtual Lab Simulation


How it works

A million dollar lab in your browser

You can now perform advanced experiments to achieve core science learning outcomes. Theory and practise is connected in a novel way, and all you need is a computer/laptop and a browser!

Our simulations run even on older laptops and computers, and you will be able to play our simulations without having to install any browser plugins.

See detailed minimum requirements here.

100s of hours of science learning content

Explore many different science topics at your pace and difficulty level.

Our virtual laboratory simulations are aimed at university, college and high school level, within fields such as Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Physics and many more.

With unlimited access to more than 60 different full simulations, you will have hundreds of hours of fun, innovative and high quality learning content available to you.

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Learn anytime, anywhere.

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A million dollar lab on your laptop.

A million dollar lab on your laptop.

Turn your laptop into a lab-top with unlimited access to Labster’s fast-growing, immersive blended-learning experience. We offer 60+ simulations.

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Student Ambassador at Exeter Uni

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Student Ambassador at Exeter Uni


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