Canon Science Lab

What is Light? - The Editor's Profile & Message

Light-A True Enigma

I would like to use this virtual laboratory to explain light mainly in terms of physics. Light is a type of electromagnetic wave, and visible light has wavelengths that range from around 380 to 720 nanometers.

Light is a key source of energy, which it provides through the process of photosynthesis. In fact, though we often take light for granted, it is in many ways a critical element to all life on our planet.
Plants absorb carbon dioxide and water, becoming green chemical factories. Chloroplast uses energy from light to break down water into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen combines with carbon dioxide to produce, for example, grape sugar and starch. In other words, chloroplast transforms light energy into a solid like starch and breathes out surplus oxygen. Living things eat the starch, thereby indirectly consuming light energy.
It should never be forgotten that light is vital as the wellspring of all life on earth with the exception of archaebacteria, or single-celled organisms that inhabit the deepest seas.

·Professor Ichiro Inoue

Professor Inoue is a university expert on advanced science and technology. He is also a science and technology journalist who has penned numerous articles. One of his strengths is making it easy to understand complex technologies.

· He was born in 1936. After graduating from the Faculty of Science at the University of Tokyo, he became a newspaper journalist, leaving in 1982 to become a freelance writer specializing in science and technology. Currently, he teaches at Tama University.
Professor Inoue's books include What Is Light? (published by DIAMOND, Inc.) and Liquid Crystals Made Easy (Nippon Jitsugyo Publishing Co., Ltd.)