The process of absorbing, specifically:

1. <physiology> The movement and uptake of substances (liquids and solutes) into cells or across tissues such as skin, intestine and kiidney tubules, by way of diffusion or osmosis.

2. <chemistry> The drawing of a gas or liquid into the pores of a permeable solid.

3. <psychology> The devotion of thought to one object or activity, with inattention to others.

4. <radiology> The taking up of energy by matter with which the radiation interacts.

5. <physics> The loss of (electromagnetic) energy to a medium. For instance, an electromagnetic wave which propagates through a plasma will set the electrons into motion. If the electrons make collisions with other particles, they will absorb net energy from the wave.

6. <immunology> A process in which an antigen or antibody is used to pull an analogous antigen or antibody out of a solution.

Compare: adsorption.

Origin: L. Absorptio

(12 Nov 1997)