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Why are plants green?

Leonid Veselov
Leonid Veselov
June 5, 2012
Why are plants green?

From the point of view of the structure of plants, chlorophyll makes them green - a special pigment of green color. It is contained in the chloroplasts of plant cells and is involved in the process of photosynthesis (the conversion of carbon dioxide and water in the light into organic matter).

Coniferous plants are always green, because the leaves can stay on them from two to forty years.

Light wave physics

Light is considered electromagnetic radiation from a substance that is in a heated or excited state. A certain range of such radiation is called the visible spectrum, that is, it is perceived by the human eye. There is also invisible light: ultraviolet, infrared radiation and radio waves.

The wavelengths of the visible spectrum ranges from 380 to 740 nanometers. For the first time, the continuous spectrum was conditionally divided into seven colors by Isaac Newton. Each of the selected colors of the spectrum is characterized by a specific wavelength range. Green color correspond to the wavelength from 500 to 565 nm.

Physiology in the perception of color

The sensation of color perception arises in the human brain. The color sensitive cells of the retina (cones), when light reflected from perceived objects hits them, send a nerve impulse to the brain, where interpretation of the information obtained by receptors takes place.

So, when light falls on plant cells, chlorophyll reflects a light wave of between 500 and 565 nanometers in length. Accordingly, the light wave reflected in this way hits the receptors of the eye and is interpreted as green in the human brain. That is why the plants are green!


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