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The Fundamental Unit of Life
Carry out the following osmosis experiment:
Take four peeled potato halves and scoos each one out to make potato cups. One of these potato cups should be made from a boiled potato. Put each potato cup in a trough containing water. Now,
(a) Keep cup A empty
(b) Put one teaspoon sugar in cup B
(c) Put one teaspoon salt in cup C
(d) Put one teaspoon sugar in the boiled potato cup D.
Keep these for two hours. Then observe the four potato cups and answer the following:
(i) Explain why water gathers in the hollowed portion of B and C.
(ii) Why is potato A necessary for this experiment?
(iii) Explain why water does not gather in the hollowed out portions of A and D.
Osmosis is the movement of water or any other solvent from a region of higher water concentration to a region of lower water concentration.
(i) The water will gather in the hollowed portion in cups B and C because there is a difference in the concentration of water in the trough and in the cup of potato. Hence, osmosis will take place in these two cups in which the potato cell will act as a semi-permeable membrane.
(ii) Potato A is necessary for this experiment because it acts as a standard and using this standard we can check the changes in the experiment and compare it with others as well.
(iii) The water will not gather in potato A because the potato is empty and there is no difference in the concentration of water. In cup D, the boiling of potato damage the cell membrane of the protein structure which makes it inactive. That is why water is not gathered in potato D.
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