Although both sugar and salt are soluble in water, the way in which they dissolve is not the same. How is their dissolving process different? Explain why these differences exist.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Upon first glance, you might easily confuse salt and sugar. Both are small, crystal solids used to season your food. In order to determine how they dissolve in water, we would need to conduct an experiment. In this experiment, we would dissolve salt and sugar (solutes) into separate containers of water (solvents) to form a solution. In order to ensure accurate results, you would need to control for a few variables. First, ensure the water is the same temperature, the amounts of solute are the same, and whatever method you are using for agitation (i.e. stirring) is constant. Finally, repeat the experiment a few times to ensure accurate results.

When salt dissolves in water, the particle actually breaks apart (i.e. the sodium and chloride do not maintain their bonds). Sugar molecules, on the other hand, remain as whole molecules. This is because salt is bonded ionically and sugar is bonded covalently.

If you wanted to further this experiment, you could assess how the results change when the conditions change (i.e. hot vs. cold water), or you could assess the solubility of salt and sugar in different substances (i.e. vinegar or alcohol).

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial