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Investigating the effects of different sugar concentrations on Osmosis.

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Investigating the effects of different sugar concentrations on Osmosis Introduction Osmosis is the net movement of water molecules through a semi-permeable membrane from a less concentrated solution to a more concentrated solution. A semi-permeable membrane allows only water molecules and small solute molecules to pass through the pores in its membrane. Osmosis continues until the water molecules are distributed evenly on both sides of the membrane. The aim of the experiment is to investigate the effects of different sugar concentrations on osmosis. To carry this investigation out, the osmosis in potato chips placed in different sugar concentrations will be measured. This will be carried out by measuring the masses of the chips before and after the experiment and from them discovering the percentage changes in mass. In 6 petri dishes, each containing exactly 50ml of their specific concentration of sugar, 3 chips are placed (this is a quicker method of doing repeats). Once the chips are all in their petri dishes, they are left for 4 hours at room temperature. After these four hours, the new masses of the chips are measured and from the results the percentage change in mass is discovered. I predict that the chips will increase in mass for the experiments with low concentrations, as water will osmose from the solutions into the chips, because the concentration will be higher in the chip. The mass will increase, as will the volume, because when the water osmoses into the cells of the potato chips, the cells become turgid (as there is more water in the them) ...read more.


Some changes were made from the method used in the preliminary experiment. It was decided that it would be necessary to produce more results in order to achieve a more accurate average, and so that there would be a wider spread of data and any anomalies could easily be identified. As opposed to using just 4 different concentrations, 6 different concentrations were to be used, and instead of only doing the experiment once, it would be repeated 3 times. In order to make the experiment more accurate, the change in mass will be measured as opposed to the change in length. This is because it is very difficult to measure all the chips to the same length, whereas if the change in mass is being measured, then the percentage change in mass can be found. The mass could also be much more accurately measured than the length, due to the use of the balance which is correct to 2 decimal places, and the results therefore should be more accurate. The following factors might affect the results of the experiment: the temperature, the volume of the liquid, the surface area of the chip, and the concentration of the liquid. In order to ensure a fair test, these factors must be the same for each experiment (except for the concentration, as this is the variable being used in this experiment). Temperature will affect the rate of osmosis, because as it increases, the molecules move quicker and react quicker. ...read more.


There may also have been very slight anomalies that could have occurred due to human error. For example, the measuring of the liquids may not have been entirely accurately done (especially considering that no burettes or pipettes were used to measure out the quantities of the liquids); or the masses of the chips could have been recorded slightly incorrectly. Despite these improvements that could be made, overall the investigation was carried out carefully and accurately; and because of this, a good set of results that prove the hypotheses correct have been obtained. In order to produce further work to provide additional relevant evidence, more procedures could be carried out. One could investigate the effects of the other factors that affect the rate of osmosis (i.e. surface area, temperature, and the volume of the liquids used). The potato chips could be cut to different sizes, so that they would have different surface areas and the effects of this on the osmosis rate could be investigated. In order to discover the effects of temperature on the osmosis of the potato chips in the salt solutions, the experiment could be carried out in different temperature conditions. To achieve this accurately, a water bath could be used, but would still have to be monitored carefully to ensure that the temperature is remaining the same. The effects of using different volumes of the liquids could also be investigated. To carry this out, the experiment would be carried out much the same as before, but different amounts of the liquids could be used. To ensure accurate results, the volumes would have to be measured carefully using burettes and pipettes. Qais Hammad ...read more.

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