Photosynthesis is the process that plants use to convert light into food. During this process, plants create carbohydrates starting with only carbon dioxide and water. Sunlight provides the energy that makes photosynthesis possible.
Two types of reactions are involved in photosynthesis, according to ScienceClarified.com. These reactions are light reactions and dark reactions. Light reactions can occur only when sunlight is present, while dark reactions can occur when sunlight is absent.
The process of photosynthesis is complex. Sunlight energy is converted into chemical energy by using chlorophyll, which is what gives plants their green color. Chlorophyll absorbs red and blue light and uses the energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into glucose. As a byproduct of this process, oxygen is released into the atmosphere.
Photosynthesis is an important process, because carbohydrates are a basic source of energy for all living things. The oxygen that is released as a byproduct of photosynthesis is used for respiration by animals and humans.