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Elements, Compounds and Mixtures

Why is Diffusion in a Liquid Slow?

Potassium Manganate (VII) is dark purple.
When the solid is dissolved in water,
the purple particles slowly diffuse out into the clear liquid.

Diffusion Started     Time Arrow     Diffusion Complete

Eventually, the random motion of all the particles
results in the purple colour being
equally dispersed throughout the water.

Diffusion appears to be slow because the dissolved particles
of the potassium manganate (VII) have many collisions
with water molecules and each other. This slows their progress.

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