Absorption is a chemical or physical process by which an ion, atom, or molecule enters a gas, liquid, or solid.
Adsorptionis the physical process by which a liquid, gas, or suspended matter gathers on the surface of a substance.
Examples of Absorption
Incorrect:Solar radiation is adsorbed in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Correct: Solar radiation is absorbed in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Examples of Adsorption
Incorrect:Gases are absorbed on the plane surfaces of glass.
Correct: Gases are adsorbed on the plane surfaces of glass.
Tips to Remember
1.‘B’ for Bulk: The ‘b’ in absorption can help you remember that it is a ‘bulk’ phenomenon, meaning it happens well beyond the surface!
2. Practice makes perfect: Quite an archaic suggestion, but it always works! Try writing down multiple examples of ‘absorption’ and ‘adsorption’ to grasp their meanings.