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Does Light Intensity Affect the Rate of Photosynthesis?

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Introduction

Does Light Intensity Affect the Rate of Photosynthesis? Background Knowledge From a previous experiment I have performed I know that if you increase the light intensity on a plant the rate of photosynthesis will increase with it. I also know that light intensity is a limiting factor that affects the rate of photosynthesis. This means that if you increase the amount of carbon dioxide that it receives and also the amount of water the rate will not increase any more until you increase the light intensity. Other limiting factors are temperature and amount of water. When a plant is taken away from light the rate of photosynthesis rapidly decrease. This is because light is a main factor in photosynthesis. It is so important that if the plant is without light for to long it will die. The formula for photosynthesis is: Carbon Dioxide + Water + Sunlight = Oxygen + Glucose + Energy. The balanced symbol equation for this is: 6CO2 + 6H2O + Sunlight = C6H12O6 + 6O2 Prediction I predict that when you increase the light intensity on the plant the rate of photosynthesis will increase. When the level of gas produced levels out then the maximum light intensity has been reached. This means that it will need more carbon dioxide, water or a temperature nearer the optimum for the plant. ...read more.

Middle

This is the point of the experiment so these values are unknown Plan We will be using a computer simulator to perform this experiment. We will enter what we require (the temperature, the amount of sodium hydrogen carbonate) and adjust the light intensity. We must keep the temperature and the concentration of the sodium hydrogen carbonate the same so that the experiment remains fair. If we adjust the values of these then it will affect our readings and our test will not be a fair one. The program we are using has the ability to generate anomalous results. This means that there is as much chance of there being an error in these results as there is in performing the experiment in real life. Change the light intensity for each value chosen and repeat each value 3 times. The values selected are 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100. Therefore there will be 30 results by the end of the experiment. We have the ability to use 10 different values for light intensity as it takes far less time to record each result as you are able to speed up the simulation of the experiment, thus get more results in the time allowed. Diagram Results Light Intensity Length (mm) ...read more.

Conclusion

We could keep the temperature and sodium bicarbonate levels constant and change the light intensity to exact values. The computer made it easy to read off values as it had a ruler with a 'bubble' to help you read off exact values. This is clearly shown in my diagram. The computer programme is also very good and fair as it generates anomalous results. This means the results obtained will not be perfect and therefore there is still some work for us to do. As the computer was able to generate accurate and anomalous results for different light intensities I feel that the method that i chose for this was the best possible. As anomalous results are created and because the experiment takes less time to perform we could have taken more results to make our experiment even more accurate as we would have more values to compare and find averages. The evidence I have collected I feel was ideal as it enabled us to find any anomalies that there were and I was able to make comparisons with my prediction. My prediction is supported by the data I obtained which sows that my experiment was a success. To make the test even more accurate we could perform the experiment practically using all of the same values as used by the computer and compare the results with the computer generated ones and see what differenced that there may be. ...read more.

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