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Diffusion is the net movement of anything (for example, atom, ions, molecules) from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration. Diffusion is driven by a gradient in concentration. The concept of diffusion is widely used in many fields, including physics (particle diffusion), chemistry, biology, sociology, economics, and finance (diffusion of people, ideas, and price values). The central idea of diffusion, however, is common to all or any of these: an object (for example, atom, idea, etc.) undergoing diffusion spreads out from some extent or location at which there is a higher concentration of that object. A gradient is that the change within the value of a quantity, for instance, concentration, pressure, or temperature with the change in another variable, usually distance. A change in concentration over a distance is named a degree gradient, a change in pressure over a distance is named a pressure gradient, and a change in temperature over a distance is called a temperature gradient. It is first devised by Eugene Garfield, the founding father of the Institute for Scientific Information. The impact factor of a journal is evaluated by dividing the amount of current year citations to the source items published therein journal during the previous two years.

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