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Investigating the Effects of Salt Solutions on Potato Tubers.

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Introduction

Investigating the Effects of Salt Solutions on Potato Tubers Aim To investigate the effect of varying concentration of a certain salt solution on the amount of osmotic activity between the solution and a potato chip of a given size. Hypothesis I predict that the piece of potato in the 100% salt solution will become most flaccid and therefore the smallest and lightest potato chip. The piece of potato in 75% salt solution will be the next smallest and lightest because that is a little bit less flaccid than the chip in the 100% salt solution. The chip in 50% salt solution will be the next lightest and smallest and so on. The piece of potato in 0% salt solution will be the least flaccid (the most turgid) and will therefore be the heaviest and biggest potato chip. When a cell becomes flaccid, the water from the cell will pass from the cell to the surroundings that have a lower water concentration so the water concentration will balance out. If the cell has a lower water concentration than it's surroundings, the cell will gain water and become more turgid. This process is called osmosis. Using the theory of osmosis, the potato chip in the 0% salt solution has less water than it's surroundings so the chip gains water and therefore becomes heavier and bigger. ...read more.

Middle

It is important to keep the measurements constant to ensure a fair test so the experiment shows fair results and it can be as accurate as possible. The only things that remain constant are the weight and length of the chips at the start and the amount of liquid in the test tubes. The only variants are the amount of water in the test tubes and the amount of salt solution in the test tubes. The results from the experiment are shown in the following tables and two graphs (that are shown on a separate piece of graph paper. Results Mass of chips at start Length of chips at start 1.78 grams 4.1 centimetres Mass of chips at end (grams) 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% 2.19 1.40 1.42 1.48 1.46 2.22 1.26 1.38 1.46 1.48 2.02 1.32 1.26 1.46 1.32 Average: 2.14 Average: 1.33 Average: 1.35 Average: 1.47 Average: 1.42 Length of chips at end (centimetres) 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% 4.5 4.1 3.8 4.0 3.8 4.8 4.0 3.9 3.9 3.9 4.5 4.0 3.7 3.8 3.8 Average: 4.6 Average: 4.0 Average: 3.8 Average: 3.9 Average: 3.8 The weight is measured to one hundredth of a gram and the length is measured to one twentieth of a centimetre. ...read more.

Conclusion

Evaluation In my opinion, I think the experiment was equally successful as it was unsuccessful. I obtained a large quantity of accurate results from which I was able to create some detailed and informative graphs. I even think I carried out the experiment in a fair way, although the things that have could have gone wrong are listed above in the conclusion. I think I have plenty of results from which I can draw a conclusion but those results could be slightly incorrect. With some slight abnormalities in the results, you can conclude that the more salt solution there is in the test tube, the smaller and lighter the chips become because of osmosis. Perhaps if I took some more results, say ten, and I got one freak result then it wouldn't make much of an impression on the overall average result. This would be almost impossible to do in one lunchtime but if I was a scientist with my own laboratory I would take ten results spread over a day. An unfair test may have occurred when weighing the potato before or after the experiment, the same could have happened when I was measuring the length of the potato tuber. Despite these possible human errors, both graphs showed the same trends and overall I think my experiment was a success. ...read more.

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