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Sir George Porter explains the 'synthetic' side of photosynthesis, and then proceeds to concentrate on the primary photochemistry. He explains that this involves chlorophyll, situated in ordered mo...lecular assemblies called photosynthetic units which are found in the folded membranes in the chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are tiny green structures found in the cells of green plants. To photochemists like Porter the advent of pulsed lasers in the late 1970's, lasers which can deliver pulses of light only picoseconds in duration, has meant that they have been able to investigate what happens in photosynthetic units in the exremely short period of time after light reaches the photosynthetic units. They are able to tell how energy is transferred to the photochemical reaction centres and current research is now concentrating on the chemistry of water splitting at the reaction centre. The programme ends with a look to the future, when it is hoped that an understanding of the water splitting process will allow us to use the primary products, hydrogen (a fuel) and oxygen directly.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: S341, "Photochemistry: light, chemical change and life"
Item code: S341; 10
First transmission date: 12-09-1982
Published: 1982
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:24
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Producer: Neil Cameron
Contributor: George Porter
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Flourescence; Light harvesting antenna; Photosynthetic unit; Reaction centre
Master spool number: HOU3835
Production number: FOUS210T
Videofinder number: 2789
Available to public: no