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We can group mixtures further by dividing them into those that are heterogeneous and those that are homogeneous.

Heterogeneous mixtures

A heterogeneous mixture does not have a definite composition. Think of a pizza, that has a topping of cheese, tomato, mushrooms and peppers (the topping is a mixture). Each slice will probably be slightly different from the next because the toppings (the tomato, cheese, mushrooms and peppers) are not evenly distributed. Another example would be granite, a type of rock. Granite is made up of lots of different mineral substances including quartz and feldspar. But these minerals are not spread evenly through the rock and so some parts of the rock may have more quartz than others. Another example is a mixture of oil and water. Although you may add one substance to the other, they will stay separate in the mixture. We say that these heterogeneous mixtures are non-uniform , in other words they are not exactly the same throughout.

Heterogeneous mixture

A heterogeneous mixture is one that is non-uniform and the different components of the mixture can be seen.

Homogeneous mixtures

A homogeneous mixture has a definite composition, and specific properties. In a homogeneous mixture, the different parts cannot be seen. A solution of salt dissolved in water is an example of a homogeneous mixture. When the salt dissolves, it will spread evenly through the water so that all parts of the solution are the same, and you can no longer see the salt as being separate from the water. Think also of a powdered drink that you mix with water. Provided you give the container a good shake after you have added the powder to the water, the drink will have the same sweet taste for anyone who drinks it, it won't matter whether they take a sip from the top or from the bottom. The air we breathe is another example of a homogeneous mixture since it is made up of different gases which are in a constant ratio, and which can't be distinguished from each other.

Homogeneous mixture

A homogeneous mixture is one that is uniform, and where the different components of the mixture cannot be seen.

An alloy is a homogeneous mixture of two or more elements, at least one of which is a metal, where the resulting material has metallic properties. Alloys are usually made to improve the properties of the elements that make them up. For example steel is much stronger than iron (which is the main component of steel).

Separating mixtures

Sometimes it is important to be able to separate a mixture. There are lots of different ways to do this. These are some examples:

  • Filtration A piece of filter paper in a funnel can be used to separate a mixture of sand and water.
  • Heating / evaporation Heating a solution causes the liquid (normally water) to evaporate, leaving the other (solid) part of the mixture behind. You can try this using a salt solution.
  • Centrifugation This is a laboratory process which uses the centrifugal force of spinning objects to separate out the heavier substances from a mixture. This process is used to separate the cells and plasma in blood. When the test tubes that hold the blood are spun round in the machine, the heavier cells sink to the bottom of the test tube. Can you think of a reason why it might be important to have a way of separating blood in this way?
  • Dialysis This is an interesting way of separating a mixture because it can be used in some important applications. Dialysis works using a process called diffusion . Diffusion takes place when one substance in a mixture moves from an area where it has a high concentration to an area where its concentration is lower. When this movement takes place across a semi-permeable membrane it is called osmosis. A semi-permeable membrane is a barrier that lets some things move across it, but not others. This process is very important for people whose kidneys are not functioning properly, an illness called renal failure .

Questions & Answers

what is math number
Tric Reply
x-2y+3z=-3 2x-y+z=7 -x+3y-z=6
Sidiki Reply
Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
Simone Reply
what is the coefficient of -4×
Mehri Reply
the operation * is x * y =x + y/ 1+(x × y) show if the operation is commutative if x × y is not equal to -1
Alfred Reply
An investment account was opened with an initial deposit of $9,600 and earns 7.4% interest, compounded continuously. How much will the account be worth after 15 years?
Kala Reply
lim x to infinity e^1-e^-1/log(1+x)
given eccentricity and a point find the equiation
Moses Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Alexandra Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
College algebra is really hard?
Shirleen Reply
Absolutely, for me. My problems with math started in First grade...involving a nun Sister Anastasia, bad vision, talking & getting expelled from Catholic school. When it comes to math I just can't focus and all I can hear is our family silverware banging and clanging on the pink Formica table.
I'm 13 and I understand it great
I am 1 year old but I can do it! 1+1=2 proof very hard for me though.
Not really they are just easy concepts which can be understood if you have great basics. I am 14 I understood them easily.
hi vedant can u help me with some assignments
find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
If f(x) = x-2 then, f(3) when 5f(x+1) 5((3-2)+1) 5(1+1) 5(2) 10
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
make 5/4 into a mixed number, make that a decimal, and then multiply 32 by the decimal 5/4 turns out to be
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
is it a question of log
I rally confuse this number And equations too I need exactly help
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Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
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A soccer field is a rectangle 130 meters wide and 110 meters long. The coach asks players to run from one corner to the other corner diagonally across. What is that distance, to the nearest tenths place.
Kimberly Reply
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
Leonardo Reply
How do i figure this problem out.
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 physical science. OpenStax CNX. Aug 29, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11245/1.3
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