I'm trying to find out exactly what happens within an image when Basic edit tools are applied. For example, does the exposure slider change the number of white pixels? ...change the size of pixels? or what? Asking for the pixel nerds in my class.
The easiest way to see what each of the controls do, is to watch the histogram while you move the sliders. So you will see that moving exposure to the right, increase luminosity but not evenly. It compresses the brighter end of the exposure range and expands the darker end. Continue through the other sliders and you will see what each does.
The two that do turn pixels completely light/dark are the white and black sliders. Hold down Alt while you move these and you will see each channel reach its limit.