What Change in Surface Area Is Expected to Result in a Faster Rate of Diffusion?

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Changes in the surface area that result in a faster rate of diffusion will require you to pay close attention to the cells. Find out what change in surface area will result in a faster rate of diffusion with help from an experienced chemistry professional in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Robin Higgins, and this is "What change in surface area is expected to result in a faster rate of diffusion?" Okay, so let's take a look at a couple of examples. On one hand, let's take a look at a cell that's trying to let ions in. So, I try to draw both of these cells with about the same volume, but different amounts of surface area. So, let's say these cells also have very specific pores that each let in ions. In this case, higher surface area is going to lead to faster diffusion, or ions moving through the membrane, because this one with less surface area is just going to have the pores see it at a slower rate. So, they'll get in, but just not as fast as this one, where there's more surface area, more way to get in. Kind of think about if there were 50 people trying to get in a room and there's only one door. If there's a bigger door, there's going to be people getting in a lot faster. So, sometimes, surface area helps diffusion. If you take a look at another example, let's just take a look at two different types of swimming pools. So, more of a traditionally shaped swimming pool, and then, let's say you had a really elaborate, very shallow, very long pool. So, again, I'm gonna try to draw them with approximately the same surf, volume, but different surface area. So, in this case, imagine we add a die to just the corner of the pool, in each case. Now, this one, is going to be able to diffuse in three directions. And, this one is going to hit the bottom, here, pretty quickly, and then mostly have to go this direction. So, in this case, this one that has smaller surface area will probably diffuse faster. This one has less surface area, but that's very different from this example. In this case, this die can reach more directions, faster, whereas this one, it's more trapped. In this case, the ions are trying to reach the outside, and if they can see less of it, it's going to go slower. So, it really depends, surface are, whether or not it helps or hurts diffusion. I'm Robin Higgins and this is "Which way do I get my method to diffuse faster, if I want to have surface area included?"


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