The osmotic activity of solute particles in an aqueous solution can be visualized as exerting an "osmotic pressure', which would potentially draw water into the solution. This can be demonstrated as a hydrostatic pressure difference between two compartments separated by a semipermeable membrane, one containing solution and the other containing water alone. Osmotic pressure can thus be defined as the pressure required to prevent osmosis when the solution is separated from pure solvent by a semipermeable membrane (Figure FL.5).
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