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The aim of this experiment is to find out whether varying the amount of current affects the mass of copper plated.

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Introduction

Electrolysis Investigation using Copper Electrodes Aim The aim of this experiment is to find out whether varying the amount of current affects the mass of copper plated. Prediction I predict that the bigger the current the greater the mass of copper plated will be. Therefore the relationship between the current and the mass of copper plated will be directly proportional, so if I double the current, the mass of copper plated will also double. I think this because during electrolysis, the number of electrons being used up at the cathode by the positive ions must be equal to the number of electrons released at the anode by the negative ions. Therefore if the current, i.e. the number of electrons flowing at any given time, is increased, the number of ions discharged must be increased proportionally. The same applies if the current is passed for a longer time. The mass of a substance released is directly proportional to the number of ions discharged. Faraday's first law can support this: 'The mass of a substance liberated during electrolysis is proportional to the quantity of electricity passed.' ...read more.

Middle

electrode and then weigh it to see how much copper has been lost. Method First I set up all the apparatus, as shown in the diagram. Then I will check that both electrodes are clean, when they are clean I will weigh the positive electrode. Once I have done that I will connect the electrodes using the crocodile clips and place them in the copper sulphate solution, I will turn on the power pack and set the current and the stopwatch. Then I will time for five minutes, during this time I will be monitoring the ammeter as the current could fall or rise. After the five minutes are over I will switch off the power pack. Then I will wipe the positive electrode clean and weigh it. I will record the results down and connect the positive electrode as before. I will then do the same but change the current. The currents I will be using are: 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1,0, and 1.2. Fair test To ensure that this experiment is fair I will only change one of the variables. The variables to choose from are: * Time, * Current, * Distance between electrodes, * Area of electrodes in solution, * Concentration of CuSO solution, * Volume of CuSO solution. ...read more.

Conclusion

Evaluation I think that this experiment went very well and was accurate as all my results supported my prediction and followed the line of best fit on the graph. I can tell that my results are accurate because of them being proportional. I think that my experiment was fair as I kept the same solution throughout the experiment so it stayed the same concentration and volume, the current stayed at the write current and I timed all experiments for five minutes. The only thing I changed from my trial test was the current as I did them too high. To improve my experiment I would have been the electrodes, which, even after I cleaned them were still a but dirty from previous experiments, so if I were to do this experiment again I think I would either have cleaned them with some stronger cleaning substances rather than just a paper towel or by using a new pair of electrodes. To investigate this experiment further I could change one of the other variables for example time. I could do exactly the same experiment but changed the time from maybe five minutes to two, and see whether this affected the amount of copper collected. Or I could investigate temperature, to see whether the temperature will affect the time in which electrolysis happens. ...read more.

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