The Importance Of Osmosis In Science

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Osmosis has long been taught to students, especially those in high school or introductory science classes, as a simple variation of diffusion. Because osmosis is the first of many natural phenomena understood by students, it is important that it is understood correctly. This however, is not the case. In fact, discrepancies exist between how osmosis is taught and understood between physics and chemistry or biology [1]. Moreover, since the agreement of the real processes involved within the physics community back in 1951, no progress has been made with osmosis in biology and chemistry education [2].
What makes these discrepancies a topic of discussion is not that they exist, but rather, that they exist and are prevalent in education. In fact, these discrepancies are speculated to be harmful to the understanding of many biological and chemical processes including blood circulation, kidney function, fluid flow, and cell expansion in fruit and flowers [2]. According Eric M. Kramer, a professor of physics at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, once errors such as these are learned they influence thinking throughout ones professional career [1]. For this reason, it is clear that this issue is pressing in relation to a proper understanding of many biological and chemical processes.
Above all else, what exactly is osmosis? Where does the currently accepted understanding in biology and chemistry differ from physics? The answer lies in five misconceptions, as explained by Kramer and Myers
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