Rate of Diffusion
Ever notice that when you pour a darker liquid into clear water the overall color changes into a shade between both? Diffusion is the passive process of particles spreading from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration until they become evenly distributed throughout a space. We call diffusion passive because it requires no input of energy to occur: it’s caused by Brownian motion, the seemingly random movement of particles within liquid or gas.
So what explains Brownian motion? Even though you can’t see it happening, all atoms vibrate ( and the hotter they are, the faster and harder they do so). Because vibrating atoms in fluid (a liquid or gas) are in close contact with each other, they bump each other around as they collide. Over time, it’s easy to see how two gasses or liquids can get all mixed up when put in the same container. The rate of diffusion refers to how quickly or slowly this process happens.
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