Green Magic: Photosynthesis

The first section of Discovering Natural Processes1 explores "Green Magic" as a metaphor for the unique ability of photosynthesis to capture energy from the sun and accumulate it in foods for all living things.

It is magical that green plants can capture very tiny packets of solar energy and aggregate them into relatively huge packets of energy in the chemical bonds of food stuffs. Aggregating energy seems contrary to a fundamental law of thermodynamics that predicts that energy always becomes more dispersed – smaller packets of energy – and greater entropy.

Of course, it is not magic. Green Magic follows the laws of biochemistry but without it, all living beings that lack photosynthesis would disappear. It is a magical process that supports life as we know it.

1 Jeff Amos and Gray Merriam published Discovering Natural Processes: Beauty in Nature’s Ways in 2005. In it they presented elements of the processes of nature that form and maintain all ecosystems, illustrated by art-quality monotone images.