Diffusion and Osmosis of a Potato

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Diffusion and Osmosis of a Potato


Diffusion labels the spread of molecules throughout unsystematic movement from expanses of higher concentration to areas of lesser concentration. The theory of diffusion is entwined to that of mass transfer propelled by a concentration gradient (Wikipedia). For example, when someone in a room passes gas, the odor will eventually spread out among the room until it has reached equilibrium with the air in the room. Instead of substances moving to balance out, osmosis is when water spreads to maintain balance. If a watermelon is placed into a bowl with water with a higher concentration of salt then the watermelon, then the water will soon be depleted from the fruit into the bowl to grasp equilibrium. From these theories and definitions, a very significant question may be asked; How does the concentration of a solute affect the change in a mass? In this lab, potatoes are used to acquire the answer to this research question. 5 different concentrations of salt solutes are employed to see how a concentration of a solute really does affect the mass in a potato. It is predicted that the potato will gradually lose more mass as the salt in the solute increases. The independent variable of the lab is the concentration of the salt solutes. They are purposefully being altered to try to reach a conclusion for the research question. The dependent variable of this experiment is the percent change of mass that is resulted in the potato. The lab includes controls such as the shape that the potato is cut into, the cup the solute is placed in, the period of time each potato is left in the cup and the amount of water in each solute.

Materials and Procedure:
1. Set up 15 plastic cups in 3 rows and 5 columns. Label each cup with the percentage of salt solute using a black sharpie. 2. Figure 1: Cups of solute and potato lined up in rows depending on their concentration of salt. Figure 1: Cups of solute and potato lined up...
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