What do you mean by the term mixture and what are the characteristics of a mixture ?

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A mixture is that form of matter in which two or more substances (elements or compounds) are present in any proportion. A mixture may be homogeneous or heterogeneous depending upon the substances present therein.

Depending upon the physical states of the constituents of a mixture, it may be homogeneous or heterogeneous mixture. Homogeneous mixtures are called solutions. Kerosene is homogeneous mixture of many hydrocarbons.

Depending upon the physical states (gas, liquid or solid) of the components, the following types of mixtures are possible.

Characteristics of a mixture

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Mixtures contain more than one substance, and show the following characteristics:

(i) In mixtures, the constituents may be present in any proportions.

(ii) Mixtures show the properties of all the constituents’ present therein. For example, a mixture containing sugar and salt will be salty-sweet.

(iii) During the preparation of a mixture, no energy such as, heat light and electricity is absorbed or evolved.

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(iv) Mixtures (except solutions) are heterogeneous.

(v) The components of a mixture can be separated by simple physical methods.

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