Could a filter be used to isolate salt from sea water? Could we say that the water molecules are smaller than the molecules of salt dissolved in the water. I have no relation to chemistry or physics, so pardon the question if it's too naive.
Yes, this is possible and is a process called reverse osmosis. It is based on a membrane which lets water pass but not the salt ions (and other water contaminants). From Wikipedia:
The membranes used for reverse osmosis have a dense layer in the polymer matrix -- either the skin of an asymmetric membrane or an interfacially polymerized layer within a thin-film-composite membrane -- where the separation occurs. In most cases, the membrane is designed to allow only water to pass through this dense layer, while preventing the passage of solutes (such as salt ions). This process requires that a high pressure be exerted on the high concentration side of the membrane, usually 2–17 bar (30–250 psi) for fresh and brackish water, and 40–82 bar (600–1200 psi) for seawater
Water desalination features prominently among applications of reverse osmosis:
The largest and most important application of reverse osmosis is to the separation of pure water from seawater and brackish waters; seawater or brackish water is pressurized against one surface of the membrane, causing transport of salt-depleted water across the membrane and emergence of potable drinking water from the low-pressure side.