Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Osmotic fun

In my readings on how to properly maintain cell cultures underneath a microscope, I came across the entry for osmotic pressure on Wikipedia. In the introduction, a thought experiment is described as such:
In order to visualize this effect, imagine a U shaped clear tube with equal amounts of water on each side, separated by a membrane at its base that is impermeable to the sugar molecules (made from dialysis tubing). Sugar has been added to the water on one side. The height of the water on each side will change proportional to the pressure of the solutions.
Just like my post on a proposed experiment dealing with entropic elasticity in rubber bands, this looks like an interesting and easy demonstration to perform. That is, if I have time to devise the setup (I'm also still working on the entropic elasticity experiment and a demonstration of Schlieren photography for CREOL's student group's outreach program, CAOS).