What is the difference between diffusion and osmosis?

Answer

Osmosis is a particular type of diffusion in which water crosses a semi-permeable membrane to an area with a greater solute concentration, whereas standard diffusion often allows the free movement of both solutes and solvent toward equilibrium. Diffusion in general is the net movement of molecules in solution from areas of higher concentration to areas of lower concentration. Osmotic pressure is potentially very powerful, with osmotic pressure being the only force necessary to move water from the roots to the tops of the tallest trees in the world.

When water dissolves another substance, it is because the polar water molecules and the solute attract one another. Each atom, ion or molecule of solute has a charge in at least one region that attracts one side or another of the water molecule. As such, as many water molecules as possible tend to gather around each particle of solvent. In liquid water, all molecules are in constant, random motion around each other. However, because of the attraction, the water molecules are slightly more likely to move toward particles of solute than they are away from them, and solute particles are more likely to move toward water molecules than other particles of solvent. This net movement results, gradually, in an even distribution of the solute. In osmosis, only the water molecules can move to equalize concentrations.

Q&A Related to "What is the difference between diffusion and..."
Diffusion is the movement of particles from an area of high concentration to that of a low concentration. Osmosis is the transfer of a solvent (usually water) through a semi-permeable
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_is_diffusion_and_osm...
Molecules have kinetic energy, which means they're in constant motion. When they're dissolved in a solution, they distribute themselves evenly throughout it. A well-known example
http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4573971_diffusion-dif...
Diffusion is the movement of molecules from a higher to lower concentration
http://www.chacha.com/question/how-are-diffusion-a...
diffusion is any molecule moving from a high concentration of itself to a low concentration [down its concentration gradient] *not just air. osmosis is the same but deals specifically
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=200902...
Explore this Topic
The difference between osmosis and diffusion is that diffusion is the process where molecules move from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration ...
Diffusion is the spreading of particles until an equal distribution of the particles is achieved. Osmosis is typically the movement of water through a membrane ...
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