A physical basis is demonstrated, in the case of a cylindrical cell illuminated with parallel light from one side, for greater photochemical action in the half of the cell farthest from the source of light, when the cell is surrounded by a medium of refractive index less than that of the cell. Factors governing the balance and magnitude of unequal action of light in the two halves of the cell are: the refractive index of the cell, the cell radius, and the absorption coefficient of the intracellular pigment. A limiting value of absorption coefficient is deduced which cannot be exceeded in cells of a particular size showing positive phototropism. In terms of this mechanism the positive phototropism of Phycomyces in air is explained.

This content is only available as a PDF.