Dilution and dilution factor are terms you are most likely to come across in chemistry or when performing certain experiments. While there are experiments that require the use of concentrated solutions, there are others that must be performed with diluted solutions. This is where the two terms are needed so that concentrated chemicals can be diluted in the right proportion.
Dilution is the process of adding more solvent to a particular solution so as to make it less concentrated. This is not as simple as what you just read because you will still need to do some calculations before this can be done. The dilution factor, on the other hand, is the ratio of the initial volume (aliquot volume) and the ratio of the final volume (diluent).
By initial volume or aliquot volume, I mean the volume of the concentrated solution before dilution, while the final volume is the volume of the solution after dilution. The dilution factor is usually calculated by dividing the final volume by the aliquot volume.
When civilization was surfacing in those days, the early scientists actually started the dilution process. The process whereby you dilute or mix two or more substances or compounds together is referred to as dilution. In a chemical activity where there is a protocol to observe or follow, and your reaction seems to be concentrated, dilution is a process that you can introduce.
Dilutions are usually expressed in exponential form. When you are reducing the concentration of a particular chemical formula, such a process can also be referred to as dilution. On the other hand, DF or dilution factor simply refers to the ratio of the final volume of the substance over the aliquot volume.
The addition of the diluents and the aliquot volume gives the final volume. Hence, the dilution factor is more or less a formula, while dilution is a process. Diluents, actually, is the substance or material in which the sample or solution was diluted.