How will you know whether the given mixture is a homogenous mixture or a heterogeneous mixture?

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The previous answer includes great advice for using your senses to make observations. From these observations, we can apply what we know about the definitions of heterogenous and homogeneous mixtures to determine which one is the appropriate label.

Heterogeneous mixtures are those in which the composition varies throughout the sample. ...

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The previous answer includes great advice for using your senses to make observations. From these observations, we can apply what we know about the definitions of heterogenous and homogeneous mixtures to determine which one is the appropriate label.

Heterogeneous mixtures are those in which the composition varies throughout the sample.  While a homogeneous mixture is the same throughout.  If you are on an exam, the best thing to do is imagine that you are collecting a sample from three different parts of the container.  If all three will be the same, then you are looking at a homogenous mixture.  If they are different, then you have a heterogenous mixture. 

Let's look at salt water. Once the salt dissolves, the particles are spread throughout the water.  Regardless of where I examine the solution, it will look the same so it is homogeneous solution.  If I look at something like muddy water, I will see differences in the mixture depending on whether I look at the top (mainly water), the middle (mix of dirt and water), or at the botoom (more dirt than water).  The different composition at different points of the solution means that it is heterogenous.

 

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