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Conductivity of Saltwater: The Effect of Concentration

Figure from experiment 17 from Physical Science with Vernier


If an ionic solid is dissolved in water, ions are released and the resulting solution will conduct electricity. Dissolving solid sodium chloride (table salt) in water releases ions according to the equation

{\text{NaCl(s)}} \to {\text{N}}{{\text{a}}^{\text{ + }}}{\text{(aq)  +  C}}{{\text{l}}^ - }{\text{(aq)}}

In this experiment, you will study the effect on electrical conductivity of increasing sodium chloride concentration. Electrical conductivity will be measured as the ion concentration of the solution being monitored is gradually increased by the addition of concentrated NaCl drops. A Conductivity Probe, attached to a computer, will be used to measure electrical conductivity. Conductivity is measured in microsiemens (μS/cm).


In this experiment, you will

  • Measure conductivity.
  • Record data.
  • Graph this data.
  • Use the data and graph to make conclusions about conductivity.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Physical Science with Vernier »

Experiment 17 from Physical Science with Vernier Lab Book

<em>Physical Science with Vernier</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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