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Diffusion and Effusion

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Credit: Ollie Crafoord
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

A Room [Figure1]


Diffusion is a property of all gasses. It states that because of their random motion, gasses will spread throughout an area. You’re about to have guests over, and you realize that your room smells terrible. You look around your pantry until you find the Febreze. To cleanse your entire room, would you have to spray it once in the middle, or in each corner of the room? Turns out, you would only have to spray once in the middle, and the Febreze sccent would be noticeable throughout the room.

You can try this out with perfume. Spray some on one side of your room, and you’ll be able to smell it on the other side. You could also spray either everywhere, but one burst in the middle of the room would be more efficient.

Creative Applications

1. Would the room instantly smell nice, or would it take time?

2. Would this still work for liquids within other liquids? (Hint: Try it out! Drop some food coloring into a clear cup of water, and see if the water becomes entirely colored)

3. What is the rate of diffusion dependent on? (Hint: Look at Graham’s Law)

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Ollie Crafoord; License: CC BY-NC 3.0


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