Sunday, February 01, 2009
[Blessed are You Who Takes Bread from the Earth]
The Torah commands us to love God and Maimonides wrote (Hilchos Yesodai HaTorah 2:2) that we attain a love of God by contemplating His amazing creations and witnessing in them His great wisdom.
One of those wonders is photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process which plants use to convert water and air into starch and sugar. Part of the process involves transferring the energy of sunlight into those starches and sugars. This is how all life receives the energy it needs. This process is so complex that scientists can still not reproduce it artificially. One amazing aspect is that somehow energy is transferred with almost complete efficiency and no loss of energy to heat. Leaves are not warm, while if you touch an electrical device like a computer you’ll notice that it’s warm because part of the energy being transmitted by the wires is lost to heat.
Scientists have now discovered that the reason for this is the fact that plants are able to make use of quantum mechanics to transfer energy. In essence, individual electrons behave differently than larger objects and in certain circumstances they are able to transfer energy extremely rapidly and efficiently. One of the most complex and little understood areas of physics is involved in the life of every plant!
Thanks to this miracle of creation we have bread and all other foods. Let’s remember that the next time we make a blessing.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 5:54 PM