Heterogeneous Mixtures

Heterogeneous Mixtures

A heterogeneous mixture does not have a definite composition. Cereal in milk is an example of a heterogeneous mixture. Soil is another example. Soil has pebbles, plant matter and sand in it. 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.

Cereal

A submicroscopic representation of a heterogeneous mixture. The gray circles are one substance (e.g. one cereal) and the white circles are another substance (e.g. another cereal). The background is the milk.

Definition: Heterogeneous mixture

A heterogeneous mixture is one that consists of two or more substances. It is non-uniform and the different components of the mixture can be seen.

Heterogeneous mixtures can be further subdivided according to whether it is two liquids mixed, a solid and a liquid or a liquid and a gas or even a gas and a solid. These mixtures are given special names which you can see in table below.

Phases of matter

Name of mixture

Example

liquid-liquid

emulsion

oil in water

solid-liquid

suspension

muddy water

gas-liquid

aerosol

fizzy drinks

gas-solid

smoke

smog

Table: Examples of different heterogeneous mixtures

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This is a lesson from the tutorial, Classification of Matter and you are encouraged to log in or register, so that you can track your progress.

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