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conductivity of water

             This experiment was designed to explore nature of water as it pertains to conductivity. It can be shown that the conductivity of a substance is directly related to the amount of dissolved salts in the substance, as salts are ions. One contributor to water conductivity, therefore, is soil, as it contains many minerals and other substances which, when dissolved in water, form ions. The experiment focused on the effect of three variables on water conductivity: the type of soil, the amount of time that the soil was saturated with water, and finally the amount of soil used in each solution. I therefore used two samples of soil, one normal sample from outside my apartment and another from a bag of potting soil. I also varied the amount of time that the soil was allowed to remain in the water for a sample of normal soil. Finally, for each type of soil, three different amounts were used in each trial. The results, as will be discussed more fully in the statistical analysis, indicate that in almost each case, changing the variable produces a significant difference in the result. The one exception involved time, which was found to be a factor, but with limits. That is to say, the conductivity leveled off after a few minutes. .
             Electrical Conductivity estimates the amount of total dissolved salts, or ions, in water. It is a measure of how easily electricity can be conducted by water, and involves the concept of electrolytes. An electrolyte is a substance that conducts electricity, and is divided into strong and weak electrolytes. Depending on the type of salt dissolved in the water, the conductivity will vary accordingly. Stronger electrolytes correspond to higher conductivity. Electrical conductivity, or EC, is measured in Siemens, which is an equivalent unit to mhos. These mhos are simply the inverse of the ohm, the unit for resistance. Conductivity, therefore, is the inverse of a substances resistance.

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