To investigate the factors that effect the osmosis in potatoes.
Osmosis is the movement of water through a semi permeable membrane, separating solutions of different concentrations. The water passes from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration, until the two concentrations are equal in concentrations of water.
Many cell membranes behave as semi permeable membranes, and osmosis is a vital mechanism in the transport of fluids in living organisms, for example, in the transport of water from the soil to the roots in plants.
If a cell is in contact with a solution of lower water concentration than its own contents, then water leaves the cell by osmosis, through the cell membrane. Water is lost first from the cytoplasm, then the vacuole through the tonoplast. The living contents of the cell contracts and eventually pulls away from the cell wall and shrinks, this is known as Plasmolysis.
If you put a plant cell in water, water enters by Osmosis, then swells up. However, the cell will not burst. This is due to the fact that the cell walls are made from cellulose, which is extremely strong. Eventually, the cell stops swelling, and when this point is reached, we say the cell is turgid. This is important, because it makes plant stems strong and upright.
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. sugar) is high. This could be called a strong or concentrated solution.
When a semi-permeable membrane divides two such solutions, the water will move from the area of high concentration to the area of low concentration, until both sides are equal (have reached equilibrium).
Using my scientific knowledge I predict that the higher the concentration of the sugar concentration, the lower the mass of the potato at the end of the experiment. This is because with a higher concentration of sugar in the water, there will be less water molecules in the solution, so it'll take less time for them to diffuse into the potato.