Satellite TV and Photosystems

Written by Jennifer A. Metzler, Ball State University

When discussing how a photosystem works to capture light energy, I ask students to compare it to a satellite TV dish. The job of the dish is to capture and focus the TV signal so they can watch their favorite show. The job of the antenna complexes is to capture the light energy and then pass that energy (focusing) to the reaction center so that light energy can be passed on in the form of excited electrons to begin converting the light energy into chemical energy in the first stage of photosynthesis.