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What factors affect the 'osmosis'?

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Introduction There are many varieties of diffusion; one kind is 'osmosis', needing little energy to occur. Osmosis is the process when water diffuses across a selectively permeable membrane to an area of high solute concentration. This can also be said that it is the movement of water molecules, from a high concentration, to an area of low concentration of water. When there is a high concentration of water, it is also called 'high water potential.' The diagram below shows a simple idea of what is meant by the process of osmosis. The small circles in the diagram represent the water molecules, the larger represent the solute. Water molecules partially permeable solute molecule Membrane High conc of water --> Low conc of water Research obtained from class lesson. Factors that will affect osmosis in living tissue are: For this Investigation I was set the task to find out the factors affecting, the process of osmosis in the living tissue of a potato. The factor that I will investigate is, 'what affect does the concentration of the solution have on osmosis? Thought there are many other factors I can investigate, THE TEMPERATURE, surrounding the potato, as a higher temperature would give the water molecules more energy and could change the process by the particals reacting faster. The surface area of the potato is another factor that I could have investigated, as a larger surface area would affect the rate of osmosis, it could increases the reaction as well as the size of the chip would also increase or decrease the rate of osmosis. ...read more.


I will also try to keep the temperature roughly the same, though it will be difficult to keep exactly the same, as the temperature in the room will keep changing, therefore it will be changing the temperature of the water. The size and surface area of is also another one- I will do this by cutting the potato with the same cork borer and then cutting the chips to have an exact size of 3.5cm long. Details of readings To make my readings more reliable I will include more results, meaning a greater range or spread of concentrations with equal intervals so that it is much clearer to see the actual trend of the curve. Therefore, I have decided to use the following rage of concentrations of salt solution 0 - 5 going up in 0.5 e.g. 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2 etc. Method To do the experiment, I will need 11 'chips' carved out of a potato, 11 solutions with different concentrations of solute, boiling tubes, a measuring cylinder, a ruler, a tile and a sensitive weighing machine- top pan balance. I will set the apparatus as shown below: The solutions will be made, in total I will make 11 concentrations using the same method as above which was e.g. take 1g of salt placed into 100ml of stilled water stir it around to dissolve the salt particles = a 1% salt solution, the same technique is used using the amount of salt required for the other 10 solutions Take a potato and a small cork-borer, cut the potato with the cork-borer, cut out as many pieces as you can from the potato- these will be your potato chips. ...read more.


If I were to redo this experiment again, I would change the following things, because of the following reasons: To improve the accuracy of the experiment I will use a new paper towel for each potato chip to dry off the excess solution-to be sure that each potato chip is being dried off thoroughly and that no excess solution is gained. A top pan balance that reads to the second dp more precise and accurate which is needed to find the actual mass gain or loss from the potato chip To improve the reliability of the experiment I will have smaller steps between the concentration which will make it a lot clearer to see the anomalous results and clearer for a line of best fit to be put in without a guessing as there will be more of a definite strong bold line that the points would give. Also repeat each concentration several times and then work out an average for them. Other ways I could collect more results to test my prediction are the length and gurth of the potato chip, because as the cell becomes turgid- this is where the potato chip has gained in less concentrated solution, so the water passes through the cell wall and into the cell membrane into the cytoplasm and into the vacuole, increasing the pressure of water inside the vacuole therefore pressing the cytoplasm against the wall. This turgor pressure keeps the cell rigid providing support for the cell making it fatter and stronger. Through proceeding the experiment this way we are able to see if changing the length and the gurth would make it more flexible as more water has been either lost or gained. ...read more.

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