Chemistry: Solutions


As I mentioned in the beginning of Liquids and Intermolecular Forces, chemists prefer to work with liquids because they're easy to handle. However, if you take a look at the chemicals in your cupboard (baking soda, sodium chloride, Twinkies, etc.), you find that many of them are solids. Though solids are also easy to measure and store, they don't react anywhere nearly as quickly as liquids do. By dissolving solids in liquids, one can manipulate their concentrations to ensure quick reaction rates. The resulting mixtures are referred to as solutions.

However, not all liquids dissolve all solids. If they did, your drinking glass would dissolve every time you poured yourself a refreshing glass of milk. In this section, we'll learn about the formation, behavior, care, and feeding of solutions.

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry © 2003 by Ian Guch. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or call 1-800-253-6476. You can also purchase this book at and Barnes & Noble.