Osmosis

Osmosis

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Osmosis Incomplete Lab
Osmosis is defined as ¡§the movement of water molecules across a
partially permeable membrane from a region of high water concentration
to a region of low water concentration¡¨.

In a high concentration of water the amount of solute (e.g. sugar) is
low. This could be called a weak or dilute solution. In a low
concentration of water the amount of solute (e.g. sucrose) is high.
This could be called a strong or concentrated solution. When two such
solutions are divided by a semi-permeable membrane, the water will
move from the area of high concentration to the area of low
concentration, until both sides are equal (have reached equilibrium).

Knowing that 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 knowing that when this happens to cells
they will either become turgid if water flows into them, or
plasmolysed if water flows out of them, and thus change their volume,
we want to test the hypothesis that:
If the concentration of a solution into which a cylinder of potato is
placed is greater than a certain level the cylinder 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

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concentration) by osmosis, making the cell swell. This cell is now
referred to as turgid. If done with potato cells the cells would
increase in length volume and 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 in the external solution the
greater the amount of water that enters the cell by osmosis. The
smaller the concentration of water in the external solution the
greater the amount of water that leaves the cell.

However, there will be a point where the concentrations of water
inside and outside the potato cells are equal (isotonic). At this
point there will be no change in the length, volume and mass of the
potato, as the net movement of water will be zero, no osmosis has
occurred.
Using this information a graph and prediction can be made:

At point A the graph suggests that no osmosis has occurred, suggesting
that the concentration of water inside the cell is equal to the
solution outside.
At point B (high water concentration), there is no indication that the
cell is increasing further in size. This is because the cell is fully
turgid and no more water can enter.
At point C (low water concentrations), there is no indication that the
cell is decreasing further in size. This is because the cell is fully
plasmolysed and no more water can leave the cell.

Prediction For this particular investigation I think that the lower
the concentration of the sugar solution in the test tube the larger
the mass of the potato will be

Osmosis is the passage of water molecules from a weaker solution into
a stronger solution, through a partially permeable membrane. In this
case, the tiny holes in the membrane of the potatoes will allow the
water molecules to pass through in and out of the solution and the
potato, depending on the concentration gradient of the two substances.
So in this case, when the water concentration is lower in the tissue,
the water will go inside the tissue of the potato, and the potato will
gain weight. And if there is very little different in the two water
concentrations, there shouldn´t be such a big change in weight. And if
there is a higher concentration of water in the potato, the water will
go out of the potato.
The potato, cut up into pieces, will need some sort of element to
survive, and in this experiment, it would be light and water. With
both of these sources, the potato will keep on working, until it dies
of either lack of water, too much water. When the concentration
gradient is lower in the potato, the water will transfer from the
solution to the potato. And vice versa.
In the distilled water, I believe that the water is more concentrated
in the potato, and therefore the water should transfer from the water
to the potato, making the potato bigger in size, and heavier in
weight. The potato tissues, being surrounded by a weak solution, will
be most likely to swell up and become turgid, taking in all the water
it can possibly take in.
With the potato in molar solutions of sucrose, I don´t think there
will be much change in the weight of the potato. This is because there
isn´t much difference between the two substances. I believe that the
weight and the size of the potato won´t be altered much.
The 0.4 molar solutions of sucrose, similar to the 0.2 molar solution
of sucrose, compared to the potato, both substances have very close
concentration gradients. And that is why I am predicting that the
weight of the potato in this experiment should be decreased by only a
fraction.
The 0.6 molar solution of sucrose, I think, should make a big
difference now, noting that it should be a large difference between
the two concentration gradients. And there fore the weight should
decrease, at least noticeable for us to notice.
The difference between the water concentration in the potato and the
0.8 molar solution of sucrose is big, and the water in the potato
should be transferred from the potato, through the permeable membrane,
to the solution surrounding the potato. And as a result, I am sure
that the weight of the potato will increase largely. And because the
potato tissues are surrounded by a stronger solution, it will probably
become smaller, and shrink. But because of such high molars of
sucrose, the water can diffuse all the way, throughout the two
substances, equalling the concentration gradient of the two
substances.
My theory in this experiment is that, due to the difference in the
water concentrations of the two substances, I believe that the weight
of the potato will start decreasing when it is tested on 0.2 molar
solutions of sucrose and greater. By researching information about
osmosis, and making predictions of the results, I believe the graph
would look something like this:
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