PRETTYMOLECULES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PRETTYMOLECULES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chlorophyll molecule. Computer artwork of a molecule of chlorophyll (C55.H72.Mg.N4.O5) superimposed on a leaf. The atoms, represented as rods and spheres, are colour-coded; carbon (orange), hydrogen (green), oxygen (red), nitrogen (blue) and magnesium (white). Chlorophyll is a pigment molecule in plants. It absorbs sunlight and uses its energy to synthesise carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water, a process called photosynthesis. Chlorophyll also gives plants their green colour. The central part of the molecule is the porphyrin ring surrounding the magnesium atom. It is the arrangement of electrons in this ring that allows chlorophyll to absorb solar energy.
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