Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Diffusion

  • Shruti MishraEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1878-1

Synonyms

Definition

Diffusion

is derived from the word of Latin origin, diffundere, meaning “to spread way out.” It is a physical process involving the net movement of molecules (solute) from a region of its high concentration to lower concentration. The process whereby the spontaneous movement of the particles of liquids, gases, or solids causes them to intermingle and spread uniformly throughout a region of higher concentration to one of lower concentration. It can involve either the spreading of a material through a medium or the transport of a particle across a membrane.

Explanation of Diffusion in the Context of Different Disciplines

The concept of diffusion is widely used in: physics, chemistry, biology, sociology, economics, and finance (diffusion of people, ideas, and of price values). However, in each one of them, the object (e.g., atom, idea, etc.) that is undergoing diffusion is “spreading out” from a point or location at which there is a higher...

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References

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  2. Mehrer, H., & Stolwijk, N. A. (2005). Heroes and highlights in the history of diffusion. Diffusion Fundamentals, 2, 1.1–1.10.Google Scholar
  3. Philibert, J. (2009). One and a half century of diffusion: Fick, Einstein, before and beyond. Diffusion Fundamentals, 11(1), 1–32.Google Scholar
  4. Spaeth, E. E., & Friedlander, S. K. (1967). The diffusion of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and inert gas in flowing blood. Biophysical Journal, 7(6), 827–851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Wyatt, T. D. (2014). Pheromones and animal behavior: chemical signals and signatures (2 ed.). Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular Biology DivisionBhabha Atomic Research CentreMumbaiIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Zanna Clay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDurham UniversityDurhamUK