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Photosynthesis
Concept 2: Electromagnetic Energy
The solar energy called visible light drives photosynthesis. Solar radiation is composed of electromagnetic energy that travels through space in a manner analogous to the motion of waves in water. The distance between the crests of waves is called the wavelength. The shorter the wavelength, the greater the energy for each unit (photon) of electromagnetic energy. Click and drag the "slider" button on the illustration below to investigate the type of electromagnetic energy that we call "light." Remember, energy cannot be created or destroyed. When light is absorbed by a green plant, a small portion of that energy is converted into chemical energy in the process of photosynthesis.