Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Why does an egg become heavier when soaked in vinegar?

Hypotonic means lower concentration, hyper-tonic means higher concentration. 
Osmosis is movement of water from the area of greater solute concentration to the area of lower solute concentration. Then, just as you said, if the egg is heavier then it was when you started it had to absorb water from the vinegar solution it has been soaking in. The rule of thumb is the water follows the concentration. It goes where the concentration is higher; moving from hypotonic to hypertonic solution, or from vinegar solution into the egg. 

If the solution were hyper-tonic, then the concentration of solute(dissolved particles) would be greater outside the egg. So the water would move to the outside of the egg, to kind of make the outside solution less concentrated. The water would continue to move out of the egg until the concentration of particles inside the egg is equalized with the concentration of particles outside of it. In the end, the egg would lose water and weight less. 
However, if the solution is hypo-tonic this would mean that concentration outside the egg is lower then the concentration inside the egg. So, the water will move from area of lower particle concentration to the area of greater particle concentration. In your egg's case inside the egg. 
The egg is hyper-tonic to the solution; and solution is hypo-tonic to the egg. 

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