Does the Size of Particles Affect Osmosis?

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The size of particles affects osmosis by making it either difficult or easier depending on the situation. Find out if the size of particles affects osmosis with help from an experienced chemistry professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Chemistry & Biology Concepts
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Robin Higgins, and this is "does the size of particles affect osmosis?" Okay, so the answer is, generally, yes. Let's go over a couple of examples. So, first, let's say we have a membrane. Could be a cell membrane, or any type of biological membrane. And, it's gonna have these pores, and so, your particles are gonna travel around try to match with the pore they fit into. And, so, in this case, size does affect osmosis, but not that much, because basically, every particle is just gonna have it's specific pore that it fits into. Once it finds it, it'll just go in there. So, that's an example where it does affect it, but it's not linear. It really depends on who fits where and how. And, so, the other example is more of a straight forward answer, where, yes, the size of particles does affect osmosis. And, this is because you have a general rule of big, heavy particles moving slower. So, if we have a typical osmosis set up where we have a water level and this is a semipermeable membrane, that's a tongue twister, and we have some impurities. Let's say, in this case, all impurities can go to the left, but never the right. So, after a while, you're going to have your water level rise, up here, and lower, here, as all the impurities get over here. And, in this case, particle size would affect osmosis because bigger particles just move slower. Remember, this is all done through natural diffusion, just seeing, you know, this particle will eventually travel over here, and then it can't get back, and that eventually filters it and causes osmosis. And, so, if you have a particle that's moving slower, the whole process will move slower. So, in this case, yes, particle size does affect osmosis. It makes it go slower. In this case, the membranes, it does affect it, but it's not quite the same as something like this. I'm Robin Higgins and this is "does particle size affect osmosis?"


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