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Classification Scheme
Similar Materials



I would like you to think for a moment about the sea.

Think about what's in it.


Thinking about the sea.[sea1.JPG]
One of the things you should know about the sea is that it contains dissolved salts. It also has a lot of suspended solids in it. It also has a variety of living things, most of which need oxygen. The sea contains dissolved gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. Of course, it also has a few oil slicks and some natural tars. In all, it contains quite a variety of things. Things in the sea.[sea3.JPG]

How would you go about classifying the ocean? What kind of material would it be?

Although classifying the ocean may not be a particularly useful thing to do, what would you come up with? Well, when you look at the ocean and everything that's in it, you'd have to classify it as a heterogeneous mixture, because of the things which are in it but not dissolved: the suspended silt and sand, the fish, the whales, the kelp and so forth. If you filter out all of these things and the other solids, what is left is a solution. Why a solution? A solution because it is homogeneous, but with various materials dissolved in it. If you evaporate away the water, a salt residue remains. Even though the filtered seawater is homogeneous, you can separate one component from the others.

Now take a look at the other pages in this section to get an overview of the purpose of this lesson and see where solutions fit into the general scheme of things by reviewing the classification scheme of materials from CH 104 and learning how solutions differ from other similar materials.

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