A description of the process of diffusion

Diffusion of water is osmosis; diffusion of other materials is just called diffusion. However, they are both diffusion, or when something spreads from high concentration of the substance to low concentration. Research is defined as human activity based on intellectual application in the investigation of matter.

A description of the process of diffusion

The lungs are located in the thoracic cavitywhich expands as the first step in external respiration. This expansion leads to an increase in volume of the alveoli in the lungs, which causes a decrease in pressure in the alveoli. This creates a pressure gradient between the air outside the body at relatively high pressure and the alveoli at relatively low pressure.

The air moves down the pressure gradient through the airways of the lungs and into the alveoli until the pressure of the air and that in the alveoli are equal i.

The increase in oxygen concentration creates a concentration gradient for oxygen between the air in the alveoli and the blood in the capillaries that surround the alveoli.

Making a Difference

Oxygen then moves by diffusion, down the concentration gradient, into the blood. The other consequence of the air arriving in alveoli is that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the alveoli decreases. This creates a concentration gradient for carbon dioxide to diffuse from the blood into the alveoli, as fresh air has a very low concentration of carbon dioxide compared to the blood in the body.

The pumping action of the heart then transports the blood around the body. As the left ventricle of the heart contracts, the volume decreases, which increases the pressure in the ventricle. This creates a pressure gradient between the heart and the capillaries, and blood moves through blood vessels by bulk flow down the pressure gradient.

As the thoracic cavity contracts during expiration, the volume of the alveoli decreases and creates a pressure gradient between the alveoli and the air outside the body, and air moves by bulk flow down the pressure gradient.

Diffusion in the context of different disciplines[ edit ] Diffusion furnaces used for thermal oxidation The concept of diffusion is widely used in: However, in each case, the object e. There are two ways to introduce the notion of diffusion: According to Fick's laws, the diffusion flux is proportional to the negative gradient of concentrations.

It goes from regions of higher concentration to regions of lower concentration. Sometime later, various generalizations of Fick's laws were developed in the frame of thermodynamics and non-equilibrium thermodynamics.

In molecular diffusionthe moving molecules are self-propelled by thermal energy.

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Random walk of small particles in suspension in a fluid was discovered in by Robert Brown. The theory of the Brownian motion and the atomistic backgrounds of diffusion were developed by Albert Einstein.

Biologists often use the terms "net movement" or "net diffusion" to describe the movement of ions or molecules by diffusion. For example, oxygen can diffuse through cell membranes so long as there is a higher concentration of oxygen outside the cell. However, because the movement of molecules is random, occasionally oxygen molecules move out of the cell against the concentration gradient.

Because there are more oxygen molecules outside the cell, the probability that oxygen molecules will enter the cell is higher than the probability that oxygen molecules will leave the cell.

Therefore, the "net" movement of oxygen molecules the difference between the number of molecules either entering or leaving the cell is into the cell. In other words, there is a net movement of oxygen molecules down the concentration gradient.

History of diffusion in physics[ edit ] In the scope of time, diffusion in solids was used long before the theory of diffusion was created. For example, Pliny the Elder had previously described the cementation processwhich produces steel from the element iron Fe through carbon diffusion.

Another example is well known for many centuries, the diffusion of colors of stained glass or earthenware and Chinese ceramics. In modern science, the first systematic experimental study of diffusion was performed by Thomas Graham.

He studied diffusion in gases, and the main phenomenon was described by him in — He used Graham's research, stating his goal as "the development of a fundamental law, for the operation of diffusion in a single element of space". He asserted a deep analogy between diffusion and conduction of heat or electricity, creating a formalism that is similar to Fourier's law for heat conduction and Ohm's law for electric current Robert Boyle demonstrated diffusion in solids in the 17th century [6] by penetration of zinc into a copper coin.

Nevertheless, diffusion in solids was not systematically studied until the second part of the 19th century. William Chandler Roberts-Austenthe well-known British metallurgist and former assistant of Thomas Graham studied systematically solid state diffusion on the example of gold in lead in My long connection with Graham's researches made it almost a duty to attempt to extend his work on liquid diffusion to metals.

In the same year, James Clerk Maxwell developed the first atomistic theory of transport processes in gases. Ludwig Boltzmannin the development of the atomistic backgrounds of the macroscopic transport processesintroduced the Boltzmann equationwhich has served mathematics and physics with a source of transport process ideas and concerns for more than years.Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site information.

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A description of the process of diffusion

A cell membrane is selectively permeable - not permeable to everything. In this lesson, we'll talk about methods of passive transport along a concentration gradient, including simple and.

Topics - Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant (K Site) Pre-Decisional Document Policy. Please note that as part of the procedures and processes of the Advisory Board’s Work Groups, several kinds of pre-decisional documents may be developed.

VHA, Diffusion of Excellence Initiative - ERPi