Diffusion - Since the molecules of any substance (solid,...

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Diffusion is the net movement of a substance (liquid or gas) from an area of higher concentration to one of lower concentration. You are on a large (10 ft x 10 ft x10 ft) elevator. An obnoxious individual with a lit cigar gets on at the third floor with the cigar still burning. You are also unfortunate enough to be in a very tall building and the person says "Hey we're both going to the 62nd floor!" Disliking smoke you move to the farthest corner you can. Eventually you are unable to escape the smoke! An example of diffusion in action. Nearer the source the concentration of a given substance increases. You probably experience this in class when someone arrives freshly doused in perfume or cologne, especially the cheap stuff.
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Unformatted text preview: Since the molecules of any substance (solid, liquid, or gas) are in motion when that substance is above absolute zero (0 degrees Kelvin or -273 degrees C), energy is available for movement of the molecules from a higher potential state to a lower potential state, just as in the case of the water discussed above. The majority of the molecules move from higher to lower concentration, although there will be some that move from low to high. The overall (or net) movement is thus from high to low concentration. Eventually, if no energy is input into the system the molecules will reach a state of equilibrium where they will be distributed equally throughout the system....
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