Speeding up the Rate of Photosynthesis

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Speeding up the Rate of Photosynthesis

Outline: The aim of my experiment is to find a factor that will speed
up the rate of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis need light to work, so
light therefore should speed up the rate of photosynthesis. I will do
an experiment to see if this works. I will place a piece of cut
pondweed into a beaker containing water and sodium hydrogen carbonate.

A lamp will be shined on to the pondweed and the amount of bubbles
released from the plant will be counted. The lamp will be adjusted to
different distances from the plant to try and obtain different


The equation for photosynthesis is:


[IMAGE]Carbon Dioxide + water Glucose + oxygen


First of all I collected all my apparatus. Then I filled both the
beaker and the measuring cylinder with water. The pondweed was put
inside the measuring cylinder, with a paper clip on one end to weigh
it down. I then added sodium hydrogen to the water in the measuring
cylinder to make sure that the amount of CO2 was kept constant through
the experiment. The beaker full of water was used as a heat shield,
which was placed halfway between the bench lamp and the pondweed every
time. Once I had all my apparatus set up I was ready to start the
experiment, I had a results table ready to fill in as the experiment
was being carried out. Once I had finished each distance I repeated it
again to try and get as accurate as results as possible.



· Measuring cylinder.
· Stopwatch.
· Beaker of water (Heat shield)
· Beaker.
· Desk lamp.
· One metre ruler stick.
· Pondweed.
· Sodium hydrogen carbonate mixture.
· Water.


Independent variable: The independent variable is what you are going
to change throughout the experiment; in this case it is the light

Dependant variable: The dependant variable is what you measure or
count; in this case it is the amount of oxygen bubbles released from
the piece of pond weed.

Controlled variable. The controlled variable is the thing that is
trying to be kept the same.

1. Light intensity, this is kept the same by a heat shield, which in
this case is a beaker of water placed half way between the bench light
and the pondweed.

2. CO2 has to be kept the same all the way through to make sure it is
a fair test, this is done by using a sodium hydrogen carbonate
mixture, which is put into the water in the measuring cylinder.


I think that as the light intensity gets stronger, the amount of
bubbles let off by the plant will increase.

The reason that I think this will happen, is because in
photosynthesis, as the light increases, the quicker it happens, to a
certain extent, when it just wont happen any quicker. So I think as
the lamp is moved closer to the plant photosynthesis will occur,
producing more oxygen bubbles.

Results Table

Distance of pondweed from light in centimetres.

Number of oxygen bubbles given off by the pondweed in 1 minute, first

Number of oxygen bubbles given off by the pondweed in 1 minute, second

Average number of oxygen bubbles given off by the pondweed in 1






















Distance of pondweed from light in centimetres.

Number of oxygen bubbles given off by the pondweed in 1 minute, first

Number of oxygen bubbles given off by the pondweed in 1 minute, second

Average number of oxygen bubbles given off by the pondweed in 1


Overall, I would say that the experiment was a success since my
prediction was supported by my results. My graph was in the form of a
best-fit curve. I drew it as a curve rather than a straight line
because of the clear pattern of the points. The reason that there was
a clear pattern in the points was because photosynthesis increased as
the light intensity increased. Photosynthesis is a reaction, which
needs energy from light to work, so as the amount of energy available
from light will rise with the light intensity intensity. On the graph
there wasn't a point were the line started to straighten off, I would
assume that this would eventually happen as the plant can only absorb
so much light.

Inside the plant Chlorophyll controls the amount of light the plant
absorbs, it does this with the aid of enzymes, it converts light
energy into chemical energy by a complex series of processes of
oxidation involving loss of electrons. In these processes carbon
dioxide and water are converted to glucose and oxygen.

If I was doing the experiment again I would like to repeat the
experiment one more time to make sure I am getting as accurate as
possible results.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Speeding up the Rate of Photosynthesis." 123HelpMe.com. 14 Feb 2016

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