photolysis

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photolysis

 [fo-tol´ĭ-sis]
chemical decomposition or change by the action of light or other radiant energy. adj., adj photolyt´ic.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

pho·tol·y·sis

(fō-tol'i-sis),
Decomposition of a chemical compound or cleavage of a chemical bond by the action of light.
[photo- + G. lysis, dissolution]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

pho·tol·y·sis

(fō-tol'i-sis)
Decomposition of a chemical compound by the action of light.
[photo- + G. lysis, dissolution]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

photolysis

chemical decomposition using light energy (‘splitting by light’). In 1933, Cornelius van Niel proposed that the initial step in PHOTOSYNTHESIS was the photolysis of water, leading to the release of oxygen ions (forming oxygen gas) and hydrogen ions which were involved in the reduction of NADP during the LIGHT REACTIONS. Recently it has become more common to explain the breakdown of water as a ‘separation of charge’, a fast spontaneous ionic reaction with water splitting into hydrogen (H+) and hydroxl (OH-) ions. The end result is the same as photolysis, but light is not thought to be involved in the process.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005