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Have you ever wondered why your plants in your house and outside lean towards the sun In my project I hope to answer why this happens I am going to be using lima beans to do this with The Greek philosopher Aristotle may have been the first to attempt to explain the processes of photosynthesis and food production He believed that plants could obtain from the soil all the components required for growth The cycle was completed when organisms perished and became reincorporated into the soilThis view was not seriously challenged until the 17th century with the experiments of Joannes Baptista van Helmont a Flemish physician He carefully measured the weight increase of a willow planted in soil to which he periodically added only rainwater The plant increased in weight by 77 kg 169 lb and the soil decreased in weight by 57 gm 2 oz He concluded that it was water and not substances in the soil that provided plants with their growth material Later in the early 18th century Stephen Hales conjectured that light and air might be significant factors in the growth of plantsThe classical experiments of Joseph Priestley laid the foundations of the modern photosynthetic theory He found that the composition of air inside a closed glass container changed after a candle had burned in it or after a small animal had breathed in it This air then was unable to support further burning or breathing He proposed that this fixed air contained phlogistic matterlater found to be carbon dioxidethat could be dephlogisticated by plants Although his interpretation was wrong he had discovered that plants use a component of the atmosphere in their life processesJan Ingen-Housz in 1779 and Jean Senebier in 1796 refined Priestleys ideas They observed that plants could restore the fixed air only in the presence of light the plants made the air noxious if kept in darkness The role of light in photosynthesis thus was firmly established
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