Difference between capillary action and diffusion?

I can’t find a decent explanation.

Capillary action is the tendency of moisture to rise in a pore or tube due to surface tension.

Is diffusion the movement of moisture from an area of high moisture concentration toward an area of low concentration that takes place through capillary action?

Here’s a link about diffusion and osmosis.


You also might want to check the physics behind vapor pressure


When I think of capillary action, I see moisture moving through a foundation, usually from the outside to the inside. Moisture from soil working its way through a foundation into a basement wall and condensing on the surface of the wall due to high humidity in the basement.
I think diffusion would be more rapid through less mass.

Thanks guys, I spent about a half-hour looking online and came up with what you both just said, more or less. Barry adair sent me a good link and I think I have it correct, diffusion being the process and capillary action being the actio through which the process takes place.

Thanks for taking the time to post.

Kenton, you got bowel trouble? It’s tough getting old.

Is it?

Just been a long day. Had to have a joke with ya.

Yep Gary, we all have those from time to time. I don’t think any of us are too fond of them, unless it involves two… well never mind.

Diffusion is a mixing process that occurs in liquids or gases put em together and over time they will mix themselves until equilibrium is reached.

Take a glass of water, put in a drop of food color. Wait. Diffusion mixing is a product of the vibration of molecules, all molecules vibrate if they are hotter than 0 degrees K. Think billions and billions tiny little paint shaker machines.

Moisture vapor is gaseous. Just like the food color, it will move from high concentration to low until eventually the concentration is the same.

Capillary action is the movement of liquid water. It is a product of surface tension. Think of a chain pulling all its little links along with it.