Mixtures and the States of Matter
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Mixtures and the States of Matter

Mixtures and states of matter


You prepare a salad by tossing lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots with some vinegar and oil dressing. Besides preparing good food, you have also made a mixture. Mixture consist of a physical blend of two or more substances. Mixture differ from substances because they have a variable composition.

Mixtures can be heterogeneous or homogeneous. A heterogeneous mixture is not uniform in composition. If you were to sample one portion of the mixture, its composition would be different from the composition of another portion. Soil contains bits of decayed materials along with sand,silt and clay. What kind of mixture is soil? Why is the salad you prepared above heterogeneous? By contrast, a homogeneous mixture has a completely uniform composition. The components of the mixture is evenly distributed throughout the sample. Salt water from the ocean is the same throughout the sample. The salt water is homogeneous.

One important characteristic of both heterogeneous and homogeneous mixtures is that their compositions may vary. A dinner salad can have varying amounts of tomatoes or celery added to it. The composition of air in forest differs from that near in industrial city, particularly in the amounts and kinds of pollutants it contains.

Homogeneous mixtures are so important in chemistry that chemists give them the special name solutions. A solution is a homogeneous mixture. Any part of a system with uniform composition and properties is called phase. Thus a homogeneous mixture consists of a single phase, and a heterogeneous mixture consists of two or more phases. Vinegar-and-oil dressing is an example of heterogeneous mixture with two phases. The separate phases are visible when bottle of dressing is left unshaken; the oil phase floats on the water phase. 

States of Matter

 Your are very familiar with the substance named water. At certain times, however, you call the same substance ice or steam. You use these three names because water, like most substance, can exist in three different physical states:solid,liquid and gas. The physical state of a substance is a physical property of that substance.

Coal,sugar,bone,ice and iron are examples of solid. The shape of a solid does not depend on the shape of a container. A solid is a matter that has a definite shape and volume. They cannot be squashed to a smaller volume, and they expand only slightly when heated.

Water,milk,and blood are examples of liquid. The particles in a liquid are in contact with one another, but they are packed less tightly than in a solid. Liquids are almost incompressible, but they expand when heated. A liquid flows. That is, it can take the shape of its container in which it is placed. The amount of space, or volume, occupied by a sample of a liquid is the same no matter what shape it takes. The unchanging volume is said to be fixed and constant. A liquid is a form of matter that flows, has a fixed volume, and takes the shape of its container. 

Like liquids,gases flow to take the shape of the container that holds them. The particles in a gas are spaced far apart. Unlike liquids, gases expand without limit to fill any space and are easily compressed.Thus, a gas is matter that takes the both the shape and volume of its container.

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Comments (2)

this is a very useful article.

Ranked #3 in Chemistry