Diffusion is the net movement of molecules or atoms from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration. This is also referred to as the movement of a substance down a concentration gradient. A gradient is the change in the value of a quantity (e.g., concentration, pressure, temperature) with the change in another variable (e.g., distance). For example, a change in concentration over a distance is called a concentration gradient, a change in pressure over a distance is called a pressure gradient, and a change in temperature over a distance is a called a temperature gradient.

The word diffusion is derived from the Latin word, "diffundere", which means "to spread out" (if a substance is “spreading out”, it is moving from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration). A distinguishing feature of diffusion is that it results in mixing or mass transport, without requiring bulk motion (bulk flow). Thus, diffusion should not be confused with convection, or advection, which are other transport phenomena that utilize bulk motion to move particles from one place to another. Wikipedia, Diffusion

See Also

Ficks Law of Diffusion

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