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The Osmotic Potential of a Potato.

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The Osmotic Potential of a Potato Introduction In this investigation I am going to find out the osmotic potential of a potato. When doing this, there will be certain factors to take into account: The factor I will be using will be mass because it is the most accurate and easy to notice a change and record. For this experiment I will use: 1 potato - part of the experiment 4 test tubes - to put the solutions and potato chips in 1 white tile - to cut the potato on 1 knife - to cut the potato with Water - part of the experiment Glucose - part of the experiment. Measuring cylinder - to measure the solutions Weighing scales - to weigh the potato chips I will cut the potato into 2cm2 cubes, then weigh it and note the weight, then put in one cube of potato in per test tube, add the solutions of different strengths, and leave them for 48 hours, then I will take them out and weigh them to see the change in mass. ...read more.


we want to test that: If the concentration of a solution into which a cube of potato is placed is greater than a certain level the cube will contract, and if the concentration is less than that level it will expand. This can be seen in living cells. The cell membrane in cells is semi-permeable and the vacuole contains a sugar/salt solution. So when a cell is placed in distilled water (high water concentration) water will move across the semi-permeable membrane into the cell (lower water concentration) by osmosis, making the cell swell. This cell is now turgid. If done with potato cells the cells would increase in length volume and mass because of the water. If these potato cells were placed in a solution with a low water concentration, then the opposite would happen. Water would move out of the cell into the solution. The potato cells will have decreased in length, volume and mass. The greater the concentration of water in the external solution the greater the amount of water that enters the cell by osmosis. ...read more.


This is due to osmosis, where water passes from weak solutions to strong solutions across a semi-permeable membrane, such as a cell membrane. The potato had a lower concentration of water then the test tube when the test tube had a larger concentration of water, so the water osmosed into the potato until both the potato and the water reached equilibrium. This may not happen in certain conditions, if the temperature was very hot then the water would evaporate, and it wouldn't have enough time to osmose properly and I would have an unreliable result. There were no errors in my experiment and I had no anomalous results. All the apparatus was accurate enough and working properly, however, I could have used a more exact tool to cut the potato with in the first place, so they were all the exact same size. I think the way I did the experiment was accurate and fair, but it could be more accurate and fair if I started with all the potato chips the same size, and I could also maybe put the test tubes into a controlled environment so the temperature wouldn't fluctuate. ...read more.

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