I have (very) basic knowledge in chemistry.
I am curious as to why osmosis works. I read a couple of introductory chemistry books and also searched online but most explanations I found only explained the phenomena (i.e. solvent molecules move through semipermeable membrane from low solute concentration area to high concentration area), but not the reason behind it at the molecular level (i.e. what makes more solvent molecules move towards the high solute concentration area than in the reverse direction).
Wikipedia seems to go a step further:
... there is an interaction between the solute and water that counteracts the pressure that otherwise free solute molecules would exert.
And a bit later:
The virial theorem demonstrates that attraction between the molecules (water and solute) reduces the pressure, and thus the pressure exerted by water molecules on each other in solution is less than in pure water, allowing pure water to "force" the solution until the pressure reaches equilibrium.
I think I understand what it means, but what I don't understand is this: osmotic pressure is said to be a colligative property, i.e. only affected by the concentration of the solute and not by its type. If the reason for osmotic pressure is the attraction between water and solute molecules - wouldn't we expect different osmotic pressures for different kinds of solutes?