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An Investigation into the Factors which Affect Osmosis

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An Investigation into the Factors which Affect Osmosis Osmosis is defined as the movement of water molecules from a higher concentration to a lower concentration through a partially permable membrane. Osmosis occurs with molecule moving in and out, these molecules move across the plant's cell membrane. The plant's cell membrane is partially permable and therefore it has small holes in it which allow for small water molecules to pass through it however larger molecules such as glucose through. The diagram below represents this: However on the out side of the plant cells there is a cell wall of cellulose that has larger holes that let anything pass through it. This cell wall is totally permeable and therefore will allow larger molecules such as glucose through it, but the larger molecules can still not pass the cell membrane. When these cells are in a solution which has a higher concentration of water than the cells concentration of water the water will diffuse into the cell as the water moves from a higher concentration (the solution) to the lower concentration (the cells.) As more and more water enters the cell the cell wall starts to expand and the cell starts to become turgid. ...read more.


same to the other petri dishes whilst remembering to in each petri dish we will add a different concentrated solution to it. We then cut one potato chip to a length of cm and weigh how heavy this is. Making sure we have recorded the initial weight of the potato chip we place one potato chip into each of the petri dishes filled with the different concentrated solutions. We next start the timer and leave them in there for mins. After the potato chips have been in the solution for mins we remove them at the same time wipe down any excess water and then re-weigh them. Do this 3 times with each solution (obviously not using you old solution again but replacing it with the same concentration but of a new solution). Once these results have been recorded in a table we will be able to find out the gain or loss in weight and therefore the percentage of weight gained or loss. With these results we can plot a graph of weight loss/gain against the concentration of each solution. Apparatus In this experiment we will be using the following apparatus: 4 potato chips potato borer China Tile Distilled water (0.0 mol/dm3) ...read more.


This is because once the cell membrane starts to push against the cell wall, the tugor pressure will reach it's maximum and the cells will not be able to take in any more water. At the other end of the line, I would expect the line to eventually curve off horizontally. Once the cell becomes flaccid and the cell membrane collapses, no more water would be able to escape. I did predict that the stronger the solution the more the potato chips would lose weight. I believe my results have proven this. Evaluation I am pleased with the way my experiment has gone, I did not come across too many problems and most of my points on the graph were close to the line of best fit. Therefore I am happy with the accuracy of my results. I think my method was adequate for producing accurate results I could still improve it. I could've also tried to measure the potato chips more accurately when cutting them. I feel my investigation on the whole was a sucsess. I achieved reliable and accurate results. however I could increase my confidence in my conclusions by repeating the experiment with another carrot to back it up. But on the whole my experiment matched my prediction and I am happy about my results and the way I conducted it. ...read more.

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  1. Osmosis investigation

    Firstly, I should have been more careful and precise when cutting and measuring potato chips. Limited time and a small range of equipment- cork borers, ruler and a scalpel- led to the chips not being exact in size as lining them all up was a very time consuming task and I had to move on to making my solutions.

  2. Osmosis is defined as 'the movement of water molecules from an area of high ...

    different capacity of water and the intake, or distribution of it, or different water potentials. If I had cut the potato into doughnuts, I would have only been using the out side of the potato, leaving out the middle. I could have also used a machine to cut the potato chips.

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