The Investigation of Osmosis in Potato Chips

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The Investigation of Osmosis in Potato Chips Osmosis will occur across a semi-permeable membrane whenever there is a difference between the water concentrations on the two sides of the membrane, and when this happens to cells they will either become turgid if water flows into them, or plasmolysed if water flows out of them, and therefore changing their mass. Aim: To investigate how changing concentration in a sugar solution affects the rate of osmosis in potato chips. Prediction: I predict that as potato chip is placed in a solution of high water concentration then the potato chips will increase in weight and if put in a low concentration then it will do the opposite. If the concentration of a solution into which a potato chip of 2cm of a potato is placed is greater than a certain level the potato chip 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 concentration of water), water will move across the semi-permeable membrane into the cell (lower concentration of water) by osmosis, making the cell swell. This cell is now turgid. If this were done with potato cells the cells would increase in mass because of the extra 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. In extreme cases the cell membrane breaks away from the cell wall and the cell is referred to as plasmolysed. The potato cells will have decreased in length, volume and mass. The greater the concentration of water on the out side of the cell the greater the amount of water that enters the cell by osmosis. The smaller the concentration of water out side the cell the greater the amount of water that leaves the cell.
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