YOU WILL NOTBE TESTED ON THIS HANDOUT!This handout is for the curious who need to know why the chemical force acting on potassium ions only depends on the con-centrations of potassium and the temperature. It might be confusing for some. What is the chemical force acting on potassium ions in a cell that is permeable to potassium, ace-tate, sodium and chloride ions? To answer this question first we need to understand that the chemical force is the same as the chemical diffusion force. Therefore we can ignore the charge on potassium ions and pretend that they have no charge when determining the chemical force. In 1905, at the age of 26, Einstein showed that diffusion is the result of random movement of molecules, essentially just a result of thermal agitation. This is in contrast to the earlier view of Fick (which Einstein disproved completely by 1908) that diffusion results from some kind of attractive inter-molecular force.
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