How do we judge whether milk, ghee, butter,
salt, spices, mineral water or juice that we
buy from the market are pure?
Have you ever noticed the word ‘pure’ written on the packs of these consumables? For a common person pure means having no adulteration. But, for a scientist all these things are actually mixtures of different substances and hence not pure. For example, milk is actually a mixture of water, fat, proteins etc. When a scientist says that something is pure, it means that all the constituent particles of that substance are the same in their chemical nature. A pure substance consists of a single type of particles. In other words, a substance is a pure single form of matter.
Mixtures are constituted by more than one kind of pure form of matter, known as a substance. A substance cannot be separated into other kinds of matter by any physical process. We know that dissolved sodium chloride can be separated from water by thephysical process of evaporation. However, sodium chloride is itself a substance and cannot be separated by physical process into its chemical constituents. Similarly, sugar is a substance because it contains only one kind of pure matter and its composition is the same throughout.
A solution is a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances. You come across various types of solutions in your daily life. Lemonade, soda water etc. are all examples of solutions. Usually we think of a solution as a liquid that contains either a solid, liquid or a gas dissolved in it. But, we can also have solid solutions (alloys) and gaseous solutions (air). In a solution there is homogeneity at the particle level. For example, lemonade tastes the same throughout. This shows that particles of sugar or salt are evenly distributed in the solution.
We have learnt that most of the natural substances are not chemically pure. Different methods of separation are used to get individual components from a mixture. Separation makes it possible to study and use the individual components of a mixture.
To understand the difference between a pure
substance and a mixture, let us understand
the difference between a physical and a
In the previous chapter, we have learnt about a few physical properties of matter. The properties that can be observed and specified like colour, hardness, rigidity, fluidity, density, melting point, boiling point etc. are the physical properites.
On the basis of their chemical composition, substances can be classified either as elements or compounds.