What is the Definition of Absorption?


The term absorption indicates the action of absorbing. However, it is mainly used to refer to the retention of a substance by molecules that another possesses either in a liquid or gaseous state.

The word absorption can be used in various areas such as physics, chemistry, biology or economics, so it can have different uses and meanings.

Absorption in physics

In physics, absorption indicates the loss of intensity of the radiation of electromagnetic or sound waves when it passes through a medium. Therefore, when reference is made to the absorption of sound waves, this indicates the existence of difficulties in the propagation of sound.

Absorption in chemistry

On the other hand, absorption in chemistry is a process that consists in the separation of one or more components of a gas using a liquid solvent that will allow to create a solution.

Linguistic Absorption

In linguistics, the phenomenon in which the sound of a vowel disappears when incorporated into a consonant is designated as absorption.

Absorption in economics

In the area of ​​economy and business absorption, it generally indicates the exposure of the operations through which one or more companies are dissolved to join an existing one or to acquire and start a new company.

For example, “A large shoe company absorbed my grandfather’s small shoe factory, now his models are backed by a large industrial corporation.”

Absorption in biology

In biology, absorption is a process that occurs during the digestion of food in living beings, in which a set of organs performs a chemical and physical process in order to absorb nutrients, minerals and external substances and necessary to live.

Then, these nutrients are transported from the digestive system to the blood or lymph.

In the development of digestion, the body absorbs only those nutrients that the body needs for the proper functioning and development of activities in individuals or animals.

In the walls of the small intestine is where most of the process of digestion and absorption of water, sugars, minerals and vitamins, as well as proteins, fats and hydrates is carried out.

Once the necessary nutrients are absorbed, they are transported through the blood to those cells in which they are to be used.

Absorption and adsorption

Absorption and adsorption are chemical and physical processes that are part of what is called sorption and is characterized by adding or joining one substance to another. However, absorption and adsorption are two different processes.

The absorption is the phenomenon by which atoms, molecules or ions pass from one phase, either liquid or gaseous to another liquid or gas. That is, the matter is transferred from one phase A (absorbed) to another phase B (absorbent) in which it is dissolved or dispersed.

On the contrary, adsorption is a phenomenon in which a substance A (adsorbate) present in a liquid or gas is adhered to a solid substance B (adsorbent). In this case there is no mass transfer, in the adsorbate a layer of the adsorbent is created.