Annex A - Group Research Proposal (Science)



Group Members:
Crystal Chee (3)
Yasha Lai (7)
Divya Asritha (10)

Class: S2-07       

Group Reference: A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H   

1. Indicate the type of research that you are adopting:

[    ] Test a hypothesis: Hypothesis-driven research
e.g. Investigation of the anti-bacteria effect of chrysanthemum

[    ] Measure a value: Experimental research (I)
e.g. Determination of the mass of Jupiter using planetary photography

[ X ] Measure a function or relationship: Experimental research (II)
e.g. Investigation of the effect of temperature on the growth of crystals

[    ] Construct a model: Theoretical sciences and applied mathematics
e.g. Modeling of the cooling curve of naphthalene  

[    ] Observational and exploratory research
e.g. Investigation of the soil quality in School of Science and Technology, Singapore  

[    ] Improve a product or process: Industrial and applied research
e.g. Development of a SMART and GREEN energy system for households  

Title: An investigation on the effect of the presence of a magnetic field on the growth of zinc sulfate crystals

A. Question or Problem being addressed

What is the effect of the presence of a magnetic field on crystal growth?

Independent Variables: Presence of magnetic field
Dependent Variables: The size of crystals, the mass of crystals grown
  • Humidity of the surrounding air
  • Concentration of zinc sulfate used
  • Total volume of zinc sulfate solution used
  • Temperature of the surrounding air
  • Saturation of solution
  • The length of time for both solutions to grow crystals
  • The mass of the seeding crystals

B. Goals / Expected Outcomes / Hypotheses

The presence of a magnetic field will increase the rate of growth of the zinc sulfate crystals.

C. Description in detail of method or procedures

Equipment list:  
Beakers (2x 250ml, 2x 500ml)
Distilled Water 1000ml
Latex gloves (1 box)
Glass rods (x3)
Glass beakers (250ml x 2)
Zinc sulfate in powder form
Electromagnet (x1)
Magnetic field sensor (x2)
Filter paper (x5)
Filter funnel (x2)
Weighing scale (x1)
Measuring spoons (tablespoon) (x3)


  1. Set up the experiment as shown in the diagram above.
  2. Pour 57.7 grams of zinc sulfate into a beaker containing 100 ml of distilled water and dissolve it using a glass rod.
  3. To ensure that the concentration of zinc sulfate is saturated, heat the beaker using a bunsen burner so that we can dissolve the maximum amount of nickel sulfate.
  4. Place one beaker on top of the neodymium magnets at one side.
  5. Place the other beaker far away from the first beaker. Make sure the magnetic field is 0.
  6. Wait for a period of 14 days without disturbing the two beakers. However, make sure to observe the solution every day to check on the growth of the crystals.
  7. After 14 days, remove the crystals from the beakers and weigh their final mass on a weighing scale. If the crystals are not in the form of one big crystal, but many small crystals, break them up and collect them. Put them onto the weighing scale and weigh their respective masses.
  8. Record down the mass of the crystals
  9. Repeat the experiment and confirm our results.

Risk and Safety:

Zinc sulfate may severely irritate and burn the skin and eyes and can cause irritate the nose and throat when inhaled. Exposure to it can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. Thus, to counter this, we will wear gloves whenever we are handling the chemicals. However, we will not wear goggles because it is highly unlikely that the chemical will come into contact with our eyes.

Data Analysis:

  1. Tabulate the data and calculate the average mass of the grown crystal for each setup.
  2. Compare and create a table on the average mass of the grown crystal in both setups: the one with the magnetic field and the control.
  3. Plot a bar graph showing the mass of the crystals in the first experiment, the repeat of the experiment and the average. (Example on the right)
  4. From the table and graph, we can find out if the presence of the magnetic field affects the growth of zinc sulfate crystals.
  5. We can then estimate how much the presence of a magnetic field affects the growth of zinc sulfate crystals.

D. Bibliography:
Sueda, M., Katsuki, A., Fujiwara, Y., & Tanimoto, Y. (2006). Influences of high magnetic field on glycine crystal growth. Retrieved July 4, 2013, from

Hazardous substance fact sheet. (2008, February). Retrieved August 2, 2013, from

Kobe, S., Dražić, G., McGuiness, P. J., & Stražišar, J. (2001, March 23). The influence of the magnetic field on the crystallisation form of calcium carbonate and the testing of a magnetic water-treatment device. Retrieved August 4, 2013, from articel 8.pdf

Zinc sulfate. (2013, June 8). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 2, 2013, from

A review of the influence of magnetic field on phase transformations. (n.d.). Retrieved August 3, 2013, from

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