Ah, I see. You’re interested in a narrative that focuses on the microscopic processes themselves, with a phenomenological perspective from the entities involved. Let’s take the process of photosynthesis as an example.
In the heart of a leaf, a grand drama unfolds. It’s a story of transformation, a tale of energy and life, played out at a microscopic scale. This is the story of photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into glucose and oxygen.
Imagine, if you will, a single photon of light, journeying from the sun. It travels 93 million miles, across the vast emptiness of space, until it reaches Earth. Its destination: a tiny chloroplast in a leaf on a humble apple tree.
As the photon enters the chloroplast, it meets a complex network of pigments and proteins known as the thylakoid membrane. Here, the photon’s journey takes a dramatic turn. It is absorbed by a molecule of chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their green color.
In that moment, the photon’s energy is transferred to the chlorophyll molecule, exciting one of its electrons. This is the first step in the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis. The excited electron is passed along a series of proteins in an electron transport chain, a microscopic relay race that generates ATP, the energy currency of the cell.
Meanwhile, outside the leaf, a molecule of carbon dioxide is diffusing in from the atmosphere. It enters the leaf through a tiny pore called a stoma and makes its way to another part of the chloroplast, the stroma. Here, it will undergo the Calvin cycle, a series of chemical reactions that use the ATP produced earlier to convert the carbon dioxide into glucose, a type of sugar that the plant uses for energy.
This is the phenomenological narrative of photosynthesis, a story told from the perspective of the photons, electrons, and molecules involved. It’s a microscopic saga of energy transfer and transformation, a testament to the intricate and beautiful processes that sustain life on Earth.