What is a mixture and how can you recognize it?
In accordance with the definition that is usually used in chemistry, a mixture is a term that serves to identify a material substance/system including a couple or more various materials that are mixed up together, while keeping their characteristics because they are not combined chemically. In other words, when you hear the term «mixture», think of a composition of several materials that are different between each other but can interact with a particular purpose. When talking of what is a mixture, you should know that this is a product of mixing different substances, where there is no a particular chemical reaction, but only a sort of interaction, where all the components can save all their properties and characteristics. A mixture can include only two components, as well as a great number of various components. Writing of a paper on what is a mixture may be quite difficult, since you will have to read and learn a piece of information on chemistry, but we are going to ease your work by providing you with the basic information that you may use as a good starting point.
As a matter of fact, mixtures are everywhere around us, they are absolutely everywhere you look, although you may just not pay attention to it. The majority of things surrounding us, whether we are at home or somewhere outside, are mixtures. If you look at the atmosphere, you will find out that this is a huge mixture. The same thing will happen if you look at the ocean or at the river, at medicines, food, cocktails and so on. Remember, however, that if you are asked what is a mixture as a chemical phenomenon, you should be very careful when answering, because a mixture is a term identifying a substance that has physical properties and doesn’t have any chemical properties. In other words, this means that in a mixture there are a lot of different molecules. All of them have their specific structure and characteristics. And when they are mixed up and create a mixture, they keep all of their specificities and properties to themselves, their fundamental and basic structure stays still, while they are together in a mixture. The point is, if there was some kind of change in their chemical structure, then we would call it a reaction, not a mixture.
One of the simplest examples that you can give if you are asked what is a mixture, is distilled water with a medicine inside of it. Just water without anything would be a pure substance and you would not call it a mixture. But once you mix water with anything else, like some medicine, you will get a mixture. In this case the water will save all its properties, and the medicine will save all its properties, but they will be together in one glass interacting with each other.
Mixtures are all around you
The number of mixtures existing in the world has no beginning no end. Whatever you decide to mix up, you will get a mixture, even though you might not know what is a mixture and that you are doing it right now. Almost every dish that you eat every day is a mixture. Remember some recipe that your mother uses when cooking. All the recipes foresee that you create a mixture. When somebody is cooking a cake, he puts a number of ingredients together, mixes them up and he gets a mixture. If you put some sand into the cup of water, you will get a mixture. This will be a mixture because it is absolutely possible to take the sand back from the cup. For example, you can filter the water or just wait for a couple of minutes and you will see how sand is lying on the bottom of the cup. As a matter of fact, there are many ways of separating different components of a mixture from each other. This is the main characteristic of a mixture – that all the components can be separated. Even the paper of your textbook or a book is a mixture, because it consists of a number of ingredients that are essential when making paper.
Now that you have some basic knowledge of what is a mixture, you need to learn also what kinds of mixtures exist. As we have already said, the number of mixtures has no beginning no end, they appear and disappear regardless of whether we notice it or not. But all of them, however, have common features or differences which allows to divide them into certain categories. Keep reading further and you will learn the main types of mixtures existing today in the world.
The types of mixtures
As long as mixtures can have different number of components, they can be divided in accordance with how the substances that they involve interact between each other. Therefore, mixtures can be of the following types:
- Homogeneous mixture. This kind of mixture may include different number of substances, but the point is, that all of them will have the same composition after they are mixed up.
- Heterogeneous mixture. This kind of mixture is different from the previous one because in this case, all the components are separated from each other in a very clear way, so we can see it with our own eyes. The number of components may be also from two to endlessness.
- These are the two main types of mixtures, but there are also others, like the following:
- You can get a solution if you mix up water and salt, because salt will be dissolved in the water and you will not see it. You can only taste the water and this is how you can know that there is salt in it.
- You can get this kind of mixture if you put some sand into the water. The sand will settle on the bottom of the glass and you will see clear with your eyes that there is sand in the water. In other words, this kind of mixture shows the components separately, so you can see them.
- In this case, the components of the mixture will divide into tiny little parts and you will never see them. They will not dissolve, although you can’t see them clear neither.
- These kind of mixtures can be made only if the key component in it is some kind of metal.
All in all, all the actual and potential mixtures can be divided into the above-mentioned types. Now you have the essential knowledge of what is a mixture, what types of mixture exist and how to recognize that or another type of mixture. This will be hopefully helpful for you when dealing with chemistry assignments. In any case, if you are assigned to complete a chemistry laboratory report, we recommend you reading further and get familiar with guidelines for get such kind of writing assignment completed.
Dealing with chemistry laboratory report
As a matter of fact, laboratory reports are an integral part of studies when it come to chemistry. This is how you can practice all the theoretical knowledge that you receive during your lectures and apply them to real life, and then write them down on a paper in a form of a report. Any laboratory report has to demonstrate and reproduce all the stages of your chemical experiment and prove that you did it on your own. Below in the article you will find common guidelines that will help you get your laboratory report written in accordance with all the requirements.
- So, first of all, you should get familiar with the assignment itself. You need to make sure you understand all the instructions given to you by your professor. If something is unclear, you need to ask for clarifications and additional explanations.
- Identify the format of the assigned report. There is a number of different styles of writing laboratory reports and you need to find out which one is required in your case.
- Before you proceed directly to the experiment with your mixture, you need to think about possible results, about what you expect to get and what you will learn from the experiment.
- Find out what your professor expects from you. Even though it may seem quite obvious what you have to do, there still may be certain expectations that you should meet if you want to get a high mark.
- The starting point for writing your report will be coming up with the title and the description in the beginning of the paper. There, you will have to write down the purpose of your report, list the materials that you use for your experiment and so on.
- Begin with the definition of what is a mixture. First, you need to provide the common definition of the term and then, you may explain it in your own words, how you see and understand it.
- There is going to be an abstract in the beginning of your paper, but you’d better write it in the end, so just leave some space for it and return to this place when the rest of your report is finished.
- Write the introduction part of your report. Here, you will need to explain the reader what your experiment is going to be about, how you will do it, provide some research on the issue (the approaches to defining what is a mixture, for example), etc. Also, tell the reason for which you do the experiment and what you expect to get as a result of the experiment.
- There has to be an experimental section in your paper. You will need to write there the conditions under which you will do your experiment (what temperature, for example), what additional material you will use and so on.
- When doing the experiment, record all the results in the process of the experiment, as well as in the end of it. You need to jot down exactly all the data: the amount of the used material, its name, the final product and so on.
- Create an additional section in your paper for providing the results of your experiment and the discussion in regard to it. If you experiment appeared to be successful, you need to explain it, as well as if it didn’t work.
- Write the conclusion of your laboratory report. This is going to be rather narrow section of your paper, because the major part of it has to be the data concerning the experiment, not your own thoughts.
- If you used any additional or secondary sources within the experiment (you probably did, because you had to research the theoretical background for your experiment and to find out what is a mixture ), you will have to create a list of them in the end of the report.
- Now that the major part of your report is completed, you may proceed to writing your abstract. It doesn’t have to take more than 200 words, if nothing else is required by your assignment. There has to be a summary of your experiment and the main results.
If you read this information attentively and follow the above-provided instructions, you will not find it very difficult to complete your report and learn what is a mixture in an easy way.
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