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The Effect of Circularly Polarized Light on the Growth of Plants

Author(s): Pavel P. Shibayev | Robert G. Pergolizzi

Journal: International Journal of Botany
ISSN 1811-9700

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 113;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Pea | circular polarization | lentil | light absorption | birefringence

The growth of lentil and pea under left-handed and right-handed Circularly Polarized (CP) light was studied. It was found that the shoots of both plants grow faster under left-handed CP light. The state of polarization of light penetrating the outer layer of stem and leaf was analyzed by means of polarizing optical microscopy and polarimetry that allows to quintify the changes in the state of light polarization. The birefringence of the outer layer of the leaf (epidermis) and stem was found to have a negligible effect on polarization state of light. In both plants, lentil and pea, circular polarization of light does not change significantly when light penetrates the outer layer (epidermis) of stem or leaf. The birefringence of the outer layer of leaf and stem is small; therefore, the accelerated growth of shoots under left-handed CP light results from its absorption in the interior of the leaves or stems. The observed effect can be used to promote the growth of plants.
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