Will plants use any frequency of light?

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Ben Luckie

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Will plants use any frequency of light?
« on: 09/07/2010 17:30:03 »
Ben Luckie  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi Chris,

Say I have a prism with good available sunlight hitting it and inside the prism all the light has been split into each respective wavelength so the rainbow effect is present throughout the inside of the prism. 

If I put a plant inside this prism would it continue to grow and would it develop green chlorophyll or would other chlorophyll tweaking occur?

Regards

Ben Luckie

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 09/07/2010 17:30:03 by _system »

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Offline tangoblue

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Will plants use any frequency of light?
« Reply #1 on: 25/07/2010 02:11:31 »
It wouldnt make any difference. the plant would still be able to absorb the wavelengths it needs.

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Offline Bored chemist

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Will plants use any frequency of light?
« Reply #2 on: 25/07/2010 10:51:45 »
Plants can only use some wavelengths of light for photosynthesis. The plants in places where that light isn't present would die.
If you had a field and lit it with light spread into a spectrum and planted seeds over the field, only the seeds that were planted where there was light that they could use would grow well. In the other parts of the field the plants would grow poorly or not at all. Given many generations you might get some plants that happened to produce slightly different chlorophyll and which would grow on parts of the field that other plants couldn't.
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Offline Geezer

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Will plants use any frequency of light?
« Reply #3 on: 25/07/2010 18:47:22 »
Plants can only use some wavelengths of light for photosynthesis. The plants in places where that light isn't present would die.
If you had a field and lit it with light spread into a spectrum and planted seeds over the field, only the seeds that were planted where there was light that they could use would grow well. In the other parts of the field the plants would grow poorly or not at all. Given many generations you might get some plants that happened to produce slightly different chlorophyll and which would grow on parts of the field that other plants couldn't.

Which explains why some people prefer "grow lights" for the subterranean horticulture of plants with particular pharmaceutical properties.

Probably more than you really wanted to know at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grow_light
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