Investigation the Importance of Surface Area to Volume Ratio

Essay by KiwiatheartHigh School, 10th grade February 2009

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

BackgroundCells rely on the diffusion process to gain nutrients and to dispel waste. Because of this, the surface area to volume ratio of cells is very important. As a object becomes smaller, its surface area to volume ratio becomes greater allowing fast diffusion for cells. Though as a object becomes larger, it's surface area to volume ratio becomes smaller and diffusion would no longer be effective for cells as the process would take too long. This is why there is a limit to the size of cells.

Research QuestionHow does the surface area to volume ratio effect the time it takes for a object to diffuse?HypothesisThe higher the surface area to volume ratio is, the faster the agar jelly will become clear.

VariablesFor this experiment, the independent variable was the surface area to volume ratio of the cubes while the dependent variable was the time it took for the cube to become transparent.

The controlled variables were the type and concentration of the acid, the indicator (phenolphthalein), the process of how acid was added to the beaker, the use of the stopwatch as well as how much of the cubes were covered with acid.

MaterialsAgar jelly containing:- 0.1 M NaOH- Phenolphthalein0.1 M H2SO4100 ml or 250 ml beakerCeramic tilePlastic spoonKnifeGloveStopwatchMethodOnce all materials were gathered, the glove was put on and a 2 cm x 2 cm x 2 cm, 1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm or 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm cube was cut with the knife of the ceramic tile. After, the cube was transferred into the beaker using the spoon. The 0.1 M H2SO4 was then added to the beaker until it just covered the agar jelly (See Figure 1). The stopwatch was then started. The agar jelly was observed until it...