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Unformatted text preview: Dr Potter Biology Dept Diffusion, Osmosis and Dialysis A basic law of physics is that all molecules are always moving, except at 0 degrees Kelvin (- 273 C or about -460F). The higher the temperature, the faster they move. Diffusion is the passive movement of atoms and molecules down their gradient (just like water always flows downhill). Gradients can be caused by a difference in temperature, pressure aor concentration. In biology, most organisms maintain a constant internal temperature and pressure to concentration gradients are most important (are actually very important). Diffusion can occur in both gases and liquids. Diffusion of the solvent is osmosis and diffusion of solute is dialysis, but both are diffusion. In biology, water is the solvent and everything else (such as glucose, sodium, amino acids, etc) is the solvent. If a substance (solute or solvent) is in a higher concentration (or temp or pressure) in an area of a cell (or beaker), it will go to the area of lower concentration (or temp or pressure) all by itself...
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This note was uploaded on 11/04/2011 for the course BI 107 taught by Professor Fuller during the Spring '08 term at Montgomery College.
- Spring '08