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Science Essay

3157 words - 13 pages

Biology Controlled AssessmentIntroductionOsmosis is the diffusion of water from a high concentration to a low concentration through a semi-permeable membrane.This process does not require energy and is known as passive transport, it works through pressure to reach equilibrium, i.e. the same concentration on both sides.There are three main types of solutions in regards to osmosis:-A hypotonic solution is a solution with a lower concentration of solutes compared to another. A cell in a hypotonic solution has a higher concentration of solutes than the surrounding solution, causing water to flow into the cell. Cells can burst (cytolysis) in some cases.-A hypertonic solution is a solution with a ...view middle of the document...

I decided not to use temperature as my independent variable because I believe that it would be more difficult to control and measure than osmotic gradient. In order to measure the effect of temperature on the rate of osmosis I would have to heat/cool my solutions to a certain set temperature and make sure that it does not fluctuate throughout my entire experiment. I believe that this would be fairly difficult to control and there is a lot of room for human error, which would make my experiment unreliable.I also ruled out using surface area as my independent variable because I believe that it would be difficult to do the experiment accurately. Using core borers, which would give a set surface area, would only give me a small range of surface areas to measure. Also the difference between the potato cylinders would only be minor, I believe that this would not give me results that are significant enough to use as reliable data.There are also other factors that effect the rate of osmosis, for example osmotic pressure, but I believe that this would be far to difficult to measure in a school laboratory and therefore I immediately ruled them out. I believe that measuring the solute concentration would be the best choice as it is a simple experiment to carry out, meaning that mistakes would be unlikely. By measuring the solute concentration I would be able to use a wide range of concentrations, which would therefore give me a wide range of results.PredictionI predict that the potato cylinders will increase in mass as the water potential increases but not proportionally because the rate of the water diffusion is dependent on the difference in water potential of the cell and it's surroundings. Therefore as the original water potential of the solution decreases there is a smaller difference in water potential of the solution and that of the cells'. So if the water potential of the solution is lower than the cells' then the potato cylinders will decrease in mass.I believe this because of particle theory- the solution with the highest concentration of water molecules will diffuse through the partially permeable membrane faster than the other side due to the greater amount of water molecules colliding with the membrane; this applies to my prediction- as when the water potential of the solution is lower than that of the cell the water will diffuse from the solution and into the cell until equilibrium is reached. Consequently when the water potential of the solution is greater than that of the cell then the water will diffuse out of the cell and into the solution.Strategy - S (b)EquipmentTest tube rack - here isn't a better alternative for the same purpose. My only principle was that it is easier to keep track of the potatoes when they are in a rack18 Test tubes - there isn't much difference in the equipment that can be used to hold the potato cylinders in the solution, however I find getting the potato cylinders out of a test tube easier than getting them out...

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