Define photolysis

Photolysis is defined as the decomposition of substances on exposure to light, while photooxidation is the oxidation of a substance on exposure to light. Irradiation of tryptophan with UV light results in the formation of a tryptophan radical and a hydrated electron.


Photolysis is the process by which a photochemical reaction is conducted. The immediate outcome of light absorption is a primary photochemical reaction. Secondary reactions are termed subsequent chemical shifts.

  • Photodissociation, photolysis, or photodecomposition is a chemical reaction where photons break down a chemical compound.
  • It is defined as one or more photons interacting with a single target molecule.
  • There is no limited photodissociation to visible light.


Listed below are examples of photolysis

  • Photolysis of water in the presence of sunlight is the breakdown of the water molecule into hydrogen and oxygen.
  • The process of photosynthesis in which plants convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen using solar energy.
  • Production of vitamin D in the human body on exposure to sunlight.
  • An enzyme in the abdomen catalyses a light-producing reaction in fireflies.

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