Kate's Corner: What's diffusion?

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BRIDGEPORT, W. Va. (WDTV) - Before our experiment, we need to do a quick science lesson. This lesson is about the concept of diffusion.

Diffusion is the net movement of molecules or atoms from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration. It comes from a Latin word which means to "spread out."

But what do I mean by regions of high concentration to low concentration? I'll give you an example. Imagine you have a glass of water and you drop a few droplets of food coloring into the glass. The food coloring is in a high concentration when it first drops into the water but slowly spreads out and becomes a little more faint.

Diffusion is the process of the food coloring evenly mixing into the water. diffusion is different though from convection or advection because there is no bulk flow.

Now, many things can affect the rate the molecules spread out or the rate of diffusion. One is the temperature. The warmer the object, the faster the rate of diffusion. The warmer the temperature, the faster the molecules move. Since the molecules are moving faster, the rate of diffusion is greater. Vice versa, lower temperatures means less energy which means less motion and therefore a lower rate of diffusion.

now that you are an expert in the concept of diffusion. Make sure you check back for a simple experiment that puts diffusion into action.