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An Investigation into the Effects of Osmosis on Potatoes.

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Introduction

An Investigation into the Effects of Osmosis on Potatoes. Plan We are going to investigate the effects of osmosis on potato cylinders. We understand that osmosis is the diffusion of water across a semi-permeable membrane. This happens when there is a difference of water concentration on either side of the membrane. We are going to investigate this theory, and observe what happens when potato cylinders are placed in different concentrations of sugar solution. To conduct our investigation, we can choose many variables which could affect the results of the experiment. These are: the shape of the potatoes (flat, circular, cylinder, cube...) the surface area of the potatoes, the concentration of the sugar solution in which the potatoes are placed, and the time in which the potatoes are left in the solution. We could measure different things to prove our investigation, such as, weight, increased or decreased surface area, length of the potatoes... I am going to have my potatoes in a cylindrical shape, and the variables I am going to measure are weight increase in % depending on the strength of the sugar solution. ...read more.

Middle

I decided to use these strengths, as they have a suitable spacing over the range in which molar solutions vary, therefore they will give accurate and reliable results. I will then place each of my potato pieces in a different sugar solution. Piece 1 in the 0.2m strength, piece 2 in the 0.4m strength, piece 3 in the 0.6m strength, piece 4 in the 0.8m strength and piece 5 in the 1m strength. I will measure the time, and leave each piece in the solution for exactly 30 minutes. After the designated time, I will remove each piece and measure the weight increase of each potato piece. I will repeat the experiment again, and use my most accurate set of results to analyze. Observations Here is my table of the weight of my potato pieces before they were placed in the sugar solution: Before Weight in (oz) Piece 1 1.565 Piece 2 1.775 Piece 3 1.940 Piece 4 2.065 Piece 5 1.450 Here is my table of the weight of my potato pieces after they had been in the sugar solution: After Weight in (oz) ...read more.

Conclusion

We have learnt that osmosis is the diffusion of water across a semi-permeable membrane whenever there is a difference of water concentration on either side of the membrane. In theory, we understand that the greater the concentration of the solution in which the potato is placed in, the more weight it will gain, and the lesser the concentration of the solution, then the potato will gain less weight. According to this theory, my findings, and observations are almost correct, and were carried out in fair test conditions, so they are accurate and reliable. I believe piece of potato was left in the solution for exactly the same amount of time, so no potato piece was able to gain more or less weight in the time set. If I were to do this experiment again, I would make sure that the starting weight of my potato cylinders was the same, as it would make calculating my results easier. I would also chose a different and perhaps more accurate variable to measure, such as surface area increase/decrease as this may give me more reliable results. Science Coursework - Osmosis 1 Abbey Clark ...read more.

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