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What is the difference between diffusion and effusion

What is the difference between diffusion and effusion


1 Answers

Kushal Chaudhari
102 Points
3 years ago
When a volume of gas is opened to another volume with less pressure, the gas can either diffuse or effuse into the container. The main difference between diffusion and effusion is the barrier between the two volumes.
Effusion occurs when there is a barrier with one or many small holes that prevent the gas to expand into the new volume unless a gas molecule happens to travel through the hole. The term "small" when referring to the holes are holes with diameters less than the mean free path of the gas molecules.
The mean free path is the average distance traveled by an individual gas molecule before it collides with another gas molecule.
Diffusion occurs when the holes in the barrier are larger than the mean free path of the gas. If there is no barrier at all, you can think of a barrier with one large hole big enough to cover the boundary between the two volumes. This would mean the gas will diffuse into the new container.
Handy reminder: small holes - effusion, big holes - diffusion.

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