Potatos: Osmosis and Water Essay example

Submitted By LucyLucyLoo
Words: 460
Pages: 2

Osmosis is the net movement of water across a selectively permeable membrane driven by a difference in solute concentrations on the two sides of the membrane. A selectively permiable membrane is one that allows unrestricted passage of water, but not solute molecules or ions.
Different concentrations of solute molecules leads to different concentrations of free water molecules on either side of the membrane. On the side of the membrane with higher free water concentration (i.e. a lower concentration of solute), more water molecules will strike the pores in the membrane in a give interval of time. More strikes equates to more molecules passing through the pores, which in turn results in net diffusion of water from the compartment with high concentration of free water to that with low concentration of free water.
The key to remember about osmosis is that water flows from the solution with the lower solute concentration into the solution with higher solute concentration. This means that water flows in response to differences in molarity across a membrane. The size of the solute particles does not influence osmosis. Equilibrium is reached once sufficient water has moved to equalize the solute concentration on both sides of the membrane, and at that point, net flow of water ceases.
Diffusion of water across a membrane - osmosis - generates a pressure called osmotic pressure. If the pressure in the compartment into which water is flowing is raised to the equivalent of the osmotic pressure, movement of water will stop.
Diffusion is the net movement of molecules down a concentration gradient. This process allows small molecules such as oxygen and carbon dioxide to cross the plasma membrane. Most polar molecules such as sugars and proteins cannot freely cross this membrane. Alough water molecules are polar they are small enough to pass…