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Home > Curriculum Support > High School / Senior High > Chemistry 3rd Edition > Why did the water and syrup layers mix in Experiment 6.4?
Why did the water and syrup layers mix in Experiment 6.4?
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If you had trouble keeping the syrup layer and the water layer separate, don’t worry. This will happen sometimes. The reason has to do with the process of dissolving. The syrup or molasses that you used must have been very soluble in water. Either that, or you must have mixed the solution very vigorously. In any case, you were able to actually dissolve the syrup into the water. When that happened, another force came into play. You see, substances dissolve into other substances because the molecules of each substance are attracted to one another. Once you got the substances to dissolve, this attraction became a force trying to hold the syrup molecules close to the water molecules. That force was stronger than the force of gravity, which was trying to pull the syrup molecules down. When that happened, the force of attraction won, and the syrup molecules stayed dissolved. The oil was able to stay separated because oil cannot dissolve in water. As a result, no force other than gravity was involved, and the oil stayed separate. You will learn more about how things dissolve in Module 10.

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