OSMOSIS





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The term osmosis describes the movement of a solvent through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution to a more concentrated one. Water is sometimes called "the perfect solvent," and living tissue (for example, a human being's cell walls) is the best example of a semipermeable membrane. Osmosis has a number of life-preserving functions: it assists plants in receiving water, it helps in the preservation of fruit and meat, and is even used in kidney dialysis. In addition, osmosis can be reversed to remove salt and other impurities from water.

If you were to insert a hollow tube of a certain diameter into a beaker of water, the water would rise inside the tube and reach the same level as the water outside it. But suppose you sealed the bottom end of the tube with a semipermeable membrane, then half-filled the tube with salt water and again inserted it into the beaker. Over a period of time, the relative levels of the salt water in the tube and the regular water in the beaker would change, with the fresh water gradually rising into the beaker.

This is osmosis at work; however, before investigating the process, it is necessary to understand at least three terms. A solvent is a liquid capable of dissolving or dispersing one or more other substances. A solute is the substance that is dissolved, and a solution is the resulting mixture of solvent and solute. Hence, when you mix a packet of sugar into a cup of hot coffee, the coffee—which is mostly water—acts as a solvent for the sugar, a solute, and the resulting sweetened coffee is a solution. (Indeed, people who need a cup of coffee in the morning might say that it is a "solution" in more ways than one!) The relative amount of solute in the solution determines whether it can be described as more or less concentrated.

User Contributions:

SpEd Teacher
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Aug 12, 2006 @ 12:00 am
WOW! Cannot thank you enough for the easy to understand description of osmosis! I am a Special Ed. teacher and have been searching the Web like crazy, trying to find an example/explanation of osmosis that I could convey to my class, all of whom are ESL and have severe learning disabilities.

This website is fantastic and I applaud the person who put this information together! Truly priceless to have, as an educator!
patricovina
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Jul 19, 2009 @ 8:08 am
OMG! you made it so easy for me. I have been studing OSMOSIS for the past week and it only now that i have gained a clear understanding about it. So thanks very much....
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Sep 13, 2010 @ 11:11 am
Can you tell me of some examples of osmosis in everyday life?
Mike pedersen
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Sep 21, 2010 @ 11:11 am
Could you please tell me the author of this article? I'd like to cite it in a report I'm writing. Thanks!
maddi
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Dec 13, 2010 @ 2:14 pm
tell me examples!! i can use this in science for my project!!
Keith
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Dec 28, 2010 @ 11:11 am
Thx so much this is helping me with my science project so much. :)
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Feb 23, 2011 @ 3:15 pm
can you tell me some Examples of osmosis in everyday life i need them
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Mar 8, 2011 @ 1:13 pm
What is osmosis ? Give me example of osmosis.
What is diffusion ? Give me examples of diffusion.
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Nov 16, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
this helped me so much thank you you helped me out with my biology class
CAHS
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Jul 19, 2012 @ 6:18 pm
this website is awsome you have to try it and i dont know what to say cause i have to write 50 word so i will just talk foolishness and i am right this website is the best
kitty cat
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Dec 3, 2012 @ 6:06 am
PLs give a real life example of a plant cell undergoing osmosis. What happens and why?
Madison
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Apr 16, 2013 @ 8:08 am
I am writing a paper about Osmosis for a school project. I have to write a long essay over it and have a size 10 font. I have ran out of things to say for it. I need a lot of information that i could use in it. Please help, i'm stuck and its due in a week and i have only 3 pages. Have to get 3 more!!!
Rimi
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Jun 9, 2013 @ 8:20 pm
Must say that it is easily understood.Its cool but could have been better...
leo
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Dec 30, 2013 @ 4:16 pm
this website helped me with my science project I got an a+
ada
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Oct 15, 2014 @ 8:20 pm
how can you apply the concept of osmosis in nursing profession.?

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