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Cooking up laws of diffusion

Narrator: This is Science Today. If you look up Fick's law of diffusion, it's defined as: The rate at which one substance diffuses through another is directly proportional to the concentration gradient of the diffusing substance. Did you get that? An easier way to understand this may be through food and cooking. Amy Rowat, a professor of integrated biology and physiology at UCLA, offers students a science and cooking class.

Rowat: Each week we highlight a different concept in the physical sciences and then give lots of examples in the food and cooking as to how this can be applied to better understand both the way that plants and animals respond to their environment, but also how we can apply the concept in the physical sciences to cooking better as well. So, we discussed how we can, by chopping your vegetables into smaller pieces in a soup stock, you can generate more intense flavor in your stock more quickly and we understood that and actually calculated how, using Fick's law, you can show why this works.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.