What is diffusion?

Victoria Mirontsova
Victoria Mirontsova
March 29, 2013
What is diffusion?

Diffusion is translated from Latin as distribution or interaction. Diffusion is a very important concept of physics. The essence of diffusion lies in the penetration of one substance molecule into another. In the process of mixing, the concentrations of both substances are equalized by the volume they occupy. The substance from a place with a higher concentration goes to a place with a lower concentration, due to which the concentrations are equalized. Having considered what diffusion is, one should turn to conditions that can affect the rate of occurrence of this phenomenon.

Factors affecting diffusion

To understand what determines the diffusion, consider the factors that affect it.

Diffusion is temperature dependent. The diffusion rate will increase with increasing temperature, because with increasing temperature the speed of movement of molecules will increase, that is, the molecules will mix faster. The aggregate state of matter will also affect what determines the diffusion, namely the diffusion rate.Thermal diffusion depends on the type of molecules. For example, if the object is metallic, then thermal diffusion proceeds faster, unlike if this object was made of synthetic material. Very slowly diffusion takes place between solid materials. Diffusion is of paramount importance in nature and in human life.

Diffusion examples

To better understand what diffusion is, consider it with examples. Molecules of substances, regardless of their state of aggregation, are constantly in motion. Consequently, diffusion occurs in gases, can occur in liquids, as well as in solids. Diffusion is the mixing of gases. In the simplest case, it is the spread of odors. If you put any dye into the water, then after a while the liquid will uniformly stain. If two metals are in contact, their molecules are mixed at the interface.

So, diffusion is the mixing of substance molecules during their random thermal motion.

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