Stories About Chemistry
Once Stephenson, the inventor of the steam locomotive, was taking a walk with his friend Beckland, a geologist, near the first railway in England. Presently they saw a train passing.
"I say, Beckland," asked Stephenson, "what do you think makes that train go?"All living things owe their origin to the Sun, especially plants. Try and grow them in the dark, and all you will get is pale thin filaments instead of juicy green stalks. Under the action of solar light chlorophyll (the colouring matter of green leaves) converts the carbon dioxide of the air into complex molecules of organic substances which constitute the bulk of the plant.
Hence, the Sun, or rather its rays, are the chief "chemist" synthesizing all the organic substances in plant? It would seem so. Not in vain has the process of assimilation of carbon dioxide by plants been named photosynthesis.
It is known that many chemical reactions occur under
the action of light. There is even a special branch of chemistry which
studies them, called photochemistry.