Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


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




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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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