How does surface area affect osmosis? How does the water potential affect osmosis?

I know how both of these will directly affect it, for example an increased surface area will increase the rate of osmosis just as an increase in water potential will, but I need to know in terms of what is happening at the particle level and why that happens. Also, if you could include any references you used, that would be a great help.
Thanks, Lucy :)

1 Answer
Jun 6, 2018

An increase in the surface area to volume ratio of a cell increases the rate of osmosis. Water potential determines the direction in which water can move by osmosis.


Osmosis is a passive process and involves the diffusion of water molecules from where there is a high water potential to where there is a lower water potential down the water potential gradient, through a partially permeable membrane.

For example, if a potato strip is placed in distilled water, its cells' cytoplasm has a lower water potential than that of the distilled water surrounding them. Water thus moves down the gradient into the cells, making them turgid. The effects can be seen either as an increase in mass or an increase in the length of the strip.