Diffusion is an important concept to understand if you want to master Fluids and Electrolytes. So let’s start with the basics: what IS diffusion? The simplest explanation is that diffusion is the movement of particles from an area of HIGH concentration to an area of LOW concentration. The main thing to understand about diffusion is that it is the particles (solute) that are moving, NOT the solvent. This is the key to understanding the difference between diffusion and osmosis (which I’ll discuss in another blog post in the future).
And remember, even if you can’t see the solute, it’s still considered a “particle” for the purposes of diffusion. Check out my video showing a simple experiment you can do at home to show exactly what diffusion does.
Let’s use one more example. Let’s say you have one cup of salt water, and one cup of plain water. What will happen if you dump the salt water into the plain water? Do you end up with half salt water and half plain water? No way! You get all salt water. Diffusion causes the salt to move throughout all the water in the combined cup until it is evenly distributed.
Leave a comment below to let me know that you now understand diffusion! Or feel free to ask a question, too. 🙂