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The terms diffusion and osmosis seem to have similar meanings. Explain how they are similar. Then give reason why scientists use two separate term.

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  1. Diffusion and Osmosis, although they have similar end results, are caused for different reasons; you could technically argue that Osmosis is a specific type of Diffusion.

    To begin, Osmosis for the most part deals primarily with water and its solutes through a semi permeable layer. The semi permeable layer restricts the movement of large solutes across the layer while allowing smaller solutes to cross. Each side of the permeable layer is trying to reach equilibrium with the other side by having an equal ratio of concentration of the solvent and solute (or solute to solute sometimes). A great example is looking at an animal cell (plant cells don't work a well because of the cell wall). Animal cells change appearances based on the environment they're placed in. If you place an animal cell in pure water, water rushes into the cell to try and balance the concentration, causing a turgid cell that may result in rupturing. On the other hand, if you put an animal cell in varying molarity solutions, at the highest level you'll notice that the cell becomes flaccid, all the water in the cell is rushing out to balance the higher concentration outside.

    Diffusion is the random movement of particles caused by their kinetic energy. You can also interpret diffusion as the movement across a concentration gradient. If I spray a bottle of perfume in a corner of a room, due to the mechanics of diffusion, the perfume particles will eventually reach the other side of the room.

    Diffusion is a more general term while osmosis deals specifically with solute and solvents and usually a permeable layer.

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  2. Diffusion uses random movements of particles to go from high concentration to lower concentration.
    Osmosis just uses particles to push it from high concentration to lower concentration

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  3. The terms diffusion and osmosis seem to have similar meanings. Explain how they are similar. Then give a reason why scientists use two separate terms.

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