Chlorophyll is a green pigment that is found in almost all trees, plants, algae and cyanobacteria (bacteria that can undergo photosynthesis). The word chlorophyll comes from two Greek words that mean ‘green’ and ‘leaf’. But why is chlorophyll green? Or, put another way, what makes chlorophyll green? This post will tell you the answer!
Why is Chlorophyll Green?
The answer is actually quite simple but requires a look at why things appear a certain color. Sunlight consists of all the colors in a rainbow- red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Certain objects absorb particular colors and reflect other colors. For example, the ocean absorbs lots of red light but reflects lots of blue light. It appears blue because the reflected light hits your eyes. Another example is banana skin which is yellow because it reflects yellow light.
These principles work with chlorophyll and explain why it is green! Chlorophyll absorbs lots of blue and red light which it uses to change carbon dioxide into glucose (energy). Chlorophyll absorbs very little green light. Most green light is reflected. Therefore, chlorophyll appears green as that is the light that is reflected from the chlorophyll to your eyes!
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