Mixture in Chemistry: Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Primary Structure of Protein: Definition & Overview

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Definition of Mixture
  • 0:24 Examples of Mixtures
  • 2:10 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed Audio mode

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Derrick Arrington

Derrick has taught biology and chemistry at both the high school and college level. He has a master's degree in science education.

Very few of the chemicals and substances we encounter on a daily basis are in their pure form. Many of them are mixtures. In this lesson, you will learn about the types of mixtures recognized by scientists.

Definition of Mixture

Any substance that has a uniform and unchanging composition is considered to be pure. Examples of pure substances include elements. A mixture is a combination of two or more pure substances in which each pure substance retains its individual chemical properties. Mixtures can be composed of solids, liquids, or gases.

Examples of Mixtures

Mixtures can be defined in different ways and are classified as either heterogeneous or homogeneous. A heterogeneous mixture is a mixture that does not blend smoothly throughout and in which the individual substances remain distinct. If you have ever seen fresh-squeezed orange juice with the pulp floating in it, then you've seen a heterogeneous mixture. Since the pulp continues to float instead of mixing smoothly with the juice component, it makes it a heterogeneous mixture.

Heterogeneous mixtures are classified as either suspensions or colloids. A suspension is a mixture that contains particles that settle out if left undisturbed. A classic example of a suspension is Italian salad dressing. If you've ever noticed it sitting on a shelf in the grocery store you will see the solid particles at the bottom of the bottle and the oil at the top. This is why you shake it before you use it. Since the particles settle down to the bottom, it makes Italian dressing a heterogeneous suspension.

A colloid is a heterogeneous mixture of intermediate-sized particles that do not settle out. A classic example of a colloid is milk. While milk looks like one pure liquid, it is actually butterfat suspended in water. The particles are relatively the same size and therefore do not settle out when left undisturbed. This makes milk a heterogeneous colloid.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account