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Potato Chip Experiment.

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Biology Coursework Potato Chip Experiment Plan I am going to investigate osmosis in potato chips, and factors affecting it. I will need to ensure a fair test so that my experiment is successful. I can do this by measuring the potato strips carefully and to the nearest millimetre, to ensure they are the same dimensions. It is important that they are equal in all dimensions so that they will react in a similar way. It is also going to be important that I keep the amount of solution I keep them in constant as well, so that all conditions are equal. I shall produce precise and reliable evidence by keeping it a fair test, measuring to plausible accuracy, then presenting the evidence clearly and carefully. Safety is also an important issue in a laboratory, I shall tie my hair back, make sure that there are no obstacles in the lab, I cannot think of any other possible safety issues, but I find any during the investigation then I will of course include them. Apparatus Petri dishes Cutting board Borer Accurate measuring equipment both to ensure equal potato chips and to measure out equal amounts of solution. Potato Distilled water Various concentrations of salt water Knife Method Bore out equal size potato chips; carefully remove the potato chip out of the borer, then cut them to precisely 50.9mm in length. ...read more.


As I have already said, when cells are placed in water, the water enters the cell because the cell sap contains a strong solution of water. As the water enters the cell it causes it to swell up. The water acts against the cell wall, pushing against it until the cell can hold no more water. The cell is then fully turgid. When a cell is turgid it is firm, and rigid. This is why in my method I have said that I should also observe how rigid the potato chip is, as it gives me an indication as to what has happened in the cell. The opposite to turgid is flaccid. When potato cells are placed into a stronger salt solution, water passes out of the cells by osmosis. The permanent vacuole begins to decrease in size, causing the cells to turn limp. The cells are no longer firm, this means they are flaccid. You can see examples of turgid and flaccid cells below. Obtaining I have followed all the safety rules I set at the very beginning of this investigation, and ensured a fair test at all times. I feel that I collected a suitable amount of results for this experiment, and they are shown in the table below. Solution in molars measurements (mm) Average (mm) Distilled water 55.9 58.8 55.9 56.9 0.2 53.8 53.7 52.2 53.2 0.4 52.2 53.2 53.3 52.9 0.6 48.4 48.4 50.0 48.9 0.8 45.0 49.2 47.4 47.2 1.0 ...read more.


I found that the potato chips kept in the distilled water were as predicted firmer than they had begun, although I could not feel any difference in firmness when observing the potato chips kept in the 0.2 molar solution, it was only with the potato chips kept in distilled water. Again I saw a difference with the potato ships kept in the 1 molar solution, but none in the chips kept in the 0.8 molar solution. The chips were considerably flexible, and bent with no effort. My results support my original prediction, as does my conclusion. The method of results was good, and everything went according to plan. I consider my results to be above average in accuracy as I used accurate measuring equipment such as a borer to get equal potato chips, used millimetres and always recorded results to one decimal place. The only area that wasn't as accurate as it should have been is the timing, and is how I got the slightly anomalous result. I would need to have a special timer so that the test could be as fair as humanly possible. The evidence here is plenty to come to a definite conclusion. Osmosis occurs at a greater rate when there is a lack of salt molecules. Osmosis causes cells to become turgid or flaccid depending in the circumstances. I feel that there is enough evidence to support my conclusion, and feel happy with the final product of the investigation. ...read more.

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