Photosynthesis  - Photosynthesis is an energy-trapping process.  Chlorophyll traps the light energy of the sun.  The energy is first used to run processes that use carbon dioxide and water to form glucose.  The sun's energy is then stored in glucose. Oxygen is given off in the process of glucose formation.  Trees trap more of the suns energy than any other group of organisms.  Only 0.1% of the sun's energy is trapped by organisms.  Trees trap 50% of the .1%.  Respiration is the other side of the processes (see TREE BASICS, SHIGO).  More on the topic:  Photosynthesis is a process, where chlorophyll in plants, traps the energy of the sun in a molecule of carbon dioxide and water, that is called sugar.  The energy in the sugar is then on the move.  The sugar or photosynthate is the building block for a host of other compounds.   In some compounds the sugar is "locked" in such a way that the energy is not usable to the tree.  In other forms the energy is usable to the tree.  The sugar goes through a long chain of events and processes before the energy is released to do the work of life.   The sugar becomes connected with other sugar molecules, and vitamins such as vitamin Bl are part of the energy releasing process.  Other essential elements, such as phosphorous are involved in the process.  The sugar finally reaches the "combustion chamber" technically called the Kreb's Cycle.  Here the energy that was trapped in the bonds that held the carbon dioxide and water together are released in an orderly sequence.  Every time a bond is released, the chemical is changed.  Every time the change occurs energy is released and carbon dioxide and water are given off.  So, now we are back to the original building blocks.  This process of releasing the energy is called respiration.  Respiration in the presence of molecular oxygen gives off carbon dioxide and water.  Respiration without molecular or free oxygen is called fermentation and the product given off is ethyl alcohol, the only alcohol we can drink.  And, it is consumed, by many other organisms, in nature.  Photosynthesis is the trapping of energy.  Metabolism is the utilization of energy to power the processes of life, and to use and change other substances in the processes.  See "Tree Food"


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