In a model consisting of a non-aqueous layer (representing the protoplasm) placed between an inner, more acid, aqueous layer (representing the sap) and an outer, more alkaline, aqueous solution (representing the external solution bathing a living cell) the penetration of potassium creates an outwardly directed potential against which potassium continues to diffuse inward, thereby increasing the outward potential. This continues until the steady state is reached. The potassium sets up less potential in entering than in escaping and the net result is an outwardly directed potential. A similar process appears to take place in certain living cells.

This content is only available as a PDF.