Science: Nature's Solar Batteries

Scientists have had a hard time explaining photosynthesis, the action of chlorophyll, on which plant, animal and human life depends. They knew that chlorophyll by itself has no photosynthetic power. Only when it is contained in extremely small structures found in green leaves can it use the energy of light to release hydrogen from water, the first step in photosynthesis. The orderly pattern of the molecules in these bodies, say Drs. Melvin Calvin and Power B. Sogo of the University of California at Berkeley, is the key to the process.

The electron microscope shows that in green leaves the chlorophyll is arranged...

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