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Investigation on How Osmosis Affects Potato Chips

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Investigation on How Osmosis Affects Potato Chips Objective: To investigate how osmosis will affect the size and length of potato chips. Equipment: Different concentrations of glucose solution (0%[distilled water and normal water], 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100%), a ruler, a scale, 7 potato chips, 7 test tubes, and a test tube rack. Plan: We understand that osmosis is the diffusion of water through a membrane. Plant cells have a partially permeable membrane that allows water to enter the cell, but due to the higher concentration of solute inside the cell the water cannot move out of the cell freely and exerts turgor on the cell walls. This turgor and the extra water inside the cells will cause the cell to gain mass and to expand. As each potato chip will be of a different length, I will cut the potato chips to the same size and mass so it is a fair test. The surface area of the potato chips will be equal because all the chips will be made from a cylindrical cutter that has a set diameter and circumference. I will choose the potato chips that are whole and without any holes or dents or deformities that will increase the surface area, lessen the mass while possibly creating the impression of a longer potato chip. The effects of a dent or hole are that it causes the mass to be less than normal (for its length) ...read more.


This will happen because distilled water contains no solute at all so there will be a significant difference between the concentration of solutes in the potato cells and in the solution. The tap water might not be totally free of solute but I believe that the concentration of solute will still be significantly lower than inside the potato. We know that the amount of water that diffuse through a membrane depends on how different the solute concentration is on both sides and that the water diffuses from a low concentration to a high concentration of solute. Assuming our solute concentration inside the potato cells was 0.2M then we would expect the potato cell to attract more water particles because the solute concentration is lower on the outside. If the solute concentration were equal, like in test tube C, where both concentrations are 0.2M, we would expect that there would be none or little osmosis occurring. If the concentration were higher on the outside of the cell as in test tube D, E, F and G, we would expect the water to diffuse out of the cell into the solution. Because the rate or amount of osmosis that occurs also depends on how different the concentrations are, we expect that the higher the difference the more water that is going to be lost to the solution. Results: Tube no. Concentration of Solute Mass Before (g) Mass After (g) % Difference Length Before (mm) ...read more.


The results were quite reliable because I kept all the variables constant. The only major thing that I could have improved was that I didn't measure the volume of one of the solutions in the tube. Because time was pressing I did not measure the volume of the tap water accurately therefore leading to the anomaly in the results. I could improve the experiment by instead of putting the chips into the solutions at the same time, which I can't because I don't have 7 hands, to put them in the solution at intervals and take them out in the same order at the same intervals this way they will all be exposed to the solution for the same amount of time. The entire test tube rack could also be put in a water bath to nearly get rid of all temperature changes in the atmosphere that could affect the experiment but it wouldn't matter too much because there isn't that significant a change in temperature and even if a change was recorded, all of the test tubes would be exposed to the same conditions so there won't be any unfair results. A relationship between the surface area and the mass of the chip with a proportion to its volume is also an idea worth investigating. Also, during our experiment we were not provided with glucose, instead we were given a salt solution ranging from 0.0M to 1.0M. It served the purpose because there isn't any very significant difference that will threaten the credibility of our results. Apart from the little disturbances the experiment went perfectly fine. ...read more.

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3 star(s)

Some correct use of scientific knowledge and understanding in the prediction and analysis, but lots of mostly small errors resulting from a lack of attention to detail and incorrect use of biological terminology.

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Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 25/10/2014

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