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# To find the relationship between turgidity of potato cells and the concentration of the surrounding medium

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Introduction

Turgidity Planning Aim: To find the relationship between turgidity of potato cells and the concentration of the surrounding medium. Prediction: I predict that when the potato chip is put into the solutions, water will pass from the weaker solution into the stronger solution. For example, when a potato chip is put into distilled water, the water will pass from the distilled water into the potato cells, making it more turgid because the cells now have more water in them. When a potato chip is put into 1M sugar solution, the water from the potato cells will pass into the sugar solution because the solution inside the potato cells is weaker than the solution in the test tube. This will cause the potato cells to lose water making the chip limp or flaccid. I also predict that since potato cells gain and lose water, the weight will also change. A turgid potato chip will be heavier than a flaccid one. My predictions are based upon my knowledge on osmosis and cell function. Hypothesis: The turgidity of potato cells are affected by the concentration of the surrounding medium, which in this case will be the differently concentrated solutions of sugar. The mass of the potato chips will also be affected. Preliminary Work: Before conducting the real experiment, I did two practice tests. ...read more.

Middle

A more turgid potato chip will have a larger reading than a less turgid potato chip. This was proved correct and reliable enough to be put into scientific use, from the preliminary work. Method: 1. Use the potato borers to cut 10 potato chips. 2. Use a knife to cut the potato chips into the same lengths. 3. Weigh each chip. Record. 4. For each chip, pin it to the measuring weight like in the diagram shown. 5. Measure the distance between the ground and the tip of the potato chip. (This will show how turgid or flaccid the potato cells are). Record the distances. 6. Fill 5 test tubes with 35ml of the solutions (distilled water, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1M). 7. Repeat this with 5 other test tubes. (2 tests) 8. Put the potato chips (10) into the solutions at the same time. Start the stopwatch as the potatoes are inserted. 9. Put a stopper onto each test tube. The experiment should now look like this: 10. Leave the chips in the solutions for 40 minutes. 11. After 40 minutes, take the chips out of the test tubes and dry them with a towel. 12. Weigh each chip. Record. 13. For each chip, pin it to the water weight like in the first diagram. 14. Measure the distance the tips of the chips are to the ground. ...read more.

Conclusion

The changes that were mentioned above may improve the results but these are not necessary, for a valid conclusion has already been drawn. I can suggest further work that would extend my investigation. To see if osmosis occurs not only in sugar solutions, potato chips can be put into saltwater solutions. The turgidity of the potato chips is then measured the same way. Work can be conducted to test the type of solution that a potato would grow best in. Now since we know that water can be passed through cells, an investigation can be carried out to test the effects of plasmolysis and how cells become plasmolysed. We need not always use potatoes. Since there is no real way of measuring turgidity, I will be using my own method. A turgid potato is one that is hard and stiff because there is more water inside the cells. Therefore when I measure a turgid potato chip, the distance (in centimetres) between the tip of the chip and the ground would be further than a less turgid potato chip. A potato chip that is not turgid will limp because of the lack of water inside its cells. This means that the distance measured will be small. From this knowledge, I can say that a more turgid potato chip will have a larger reading than a less turgid potato chip. This was proved correct from the preliminary work. ...read more.

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