dispersion, in chemistry, mixture in which fine particles of one substance are scattered throughout another substance. A dispersion is classed as a suspension, colloid, or solution. Generally, the particles in a solution are of molecular or ionic size; those in a colloid are larger but too small to be observed with an ordinary microscope; those in a suspension can be observed under a microscope or with the naked eye. A coarse mixture (e.g., sand mixed with sugar) is usually not thought of as a dispersion.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Chemistry: General