The role of light in effecting chemical change has been recognized for many years. Indeed, the connection between solar energy and the biosynthesis of plant carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water was known by the early 1800's. Yet organic photochemistry was slow to develop as a well-understood and manageable science. Progress only became rapid following the development of spectroscopy and spectroscopic techniques for structure determination and the detection of transient species. For this reason photochemistry for many years was the domain of physical and theoretical chemists. Their work laid the foundation for modern organic photochemistry, which correlates the nature of excited electronic states of molecules with the reactions they undergo.
Contributors and Attributions
John D. Robert and Marjorie C. Caserio (1977) Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry, second edition. W. A. Benjamin, Inc. , Menlo Park, CA. ISBN 0-8053-8329-8. This content is copyrighted under the following conditions, "You are granted permission for individual, educational, research and non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display and performance of this work in any format."