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Explain Why Pure Water Has the Maximum Water Potential - Biology

Explain why pure water has the maximum water potential.

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Solution 1

Water molecules possess kinetic energy. In liquid and gaseous form they are in random motion that is both rapid and constant. The greater the concentration of water in a system, the greater is its kinetic energy or ‘water potential’. Hence, it is obvious that pure water will have the greatest water potential. Water potential is denoted by the Greek symbol Psi or ψ and is expressed in pressure units such as pascals (Pa). By convention, the water potential of pure water at standard temperatures, which is not under any pressure, is taken to be zero. If some solute is dissolved in pure water, the solution has less free water and the concentration of water’decreases, reducing its water potential. Hence, all solutions have a lower water potential than pure water

Solution 2

Water potential quantifies the tendency of water to move from one part to the other during various cellular processes. It is denoted by the Greek letter Psi or Ψ. The water potential of pure water is always taken as zero at standard temperature and pressure. It can be explained in terms of the kinetic energy possessed by water molecules. When water is in liquid form, the movement of its molecules is rapid and constant. Pure water has the highest concentration of water molecules. Therefore, it has the highest water potential. When some solute is dissolved in water, the water potential of pure water decreases

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APPEARS IN

NCERT Class 11 Biology Textbook
Chapter 11 Transport in Plants
Q 4 | Page 193
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