This water molecules moving from an area of

This practical was aimed at investigating how the mass of
potato chips changed depending on the concentration of solute in the solution
over a period of time. This change in mass occurs due to osmosis. Osmosis is
the process of water molecules moving from an area of high water potential to
an area of low water potential. When a solute is added to the water, the
solution has a low water potential. This results in water molecules moving from
the area where there are fewer solute molecules (high water potential) to the
area where there are more solute molecules (lower water potential) through a
semi-permeable membrane.  

plays an essential role in cells and therefore it is crucial that osmosis is
understood through such experiments such as this one. Osmosis is required to
ensure that the internal environment of an organism is stable. This is achieved
by ensuring that concentration of solutes and water potential are balanced. When
there is a greater concentration in the solution than inside the cell, then the
solution is hypertonic and water is passed to the exterior of the cell. If too
much water is drawn from the animal cell, the cell can shrivel. In plant cells,
as the cell wall is stronger than that of animal cells, instead of shrivelling
up, cells tend to become limp.   If a solution is less concentrated than the
interior of a cell then the solution is hypotonic. This results in the cell
absorbing water from its exterior. If there is an excessive amount of water
being absorbed into an animal cell, it can lead to the cells bursting. In plant
cells, the cell wall is rigid, so instead of bursting, the cells become turgid.
When a solution has an equal concentration as the inside of the cell the
solution is known as being isotonic. This results in an equilibrium between the
exterior and interior of the cell.

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hypothesis for this practical was that, by increasing the solute concentration,
the mass of the potato chips will be lower. The overall goal for this
investigation was to prove the theory of the hypothesis that a change in the
solute concentration will have an overall effect on the mass of the potatoes by
either causing an increase or a decrease. 


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