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I'm a biology teacher and therefore not a chemistry specialist.

When I was a student, my teachers used a mixture of water and olive oil to illustrate the concept of soluble and insoluble substances in water. Later, in high school and at university, I learned that the correct terms are miscible and immiscible.

Is it incorrect to use sugar and olive oil to illustrate the concepts of solubility and insolubility to 5th grade students?

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  • $\begingroup$ You can comment on answers to your own question. And it's obvious thing it's correct, it's "miscibility" that's additional. Solubility is universal for all states of matter (any exceptions would be obscure). $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Sep 7 '18 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ It's perfectly fine to say that oil is not soluble in water. $\endgroup$ – Zhe Sep 7 '18 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ That's what i thought and believed but someone here , from chemistry (!), placed that doubt in me. Many thanks $\endgroup$ – P.Az. Sep 7 '18 at 17:54
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Those are just different ways of looking at the same thing.

A solution is a homogeneous mixture where the principle component is a liquid. Miscible implies that the mixing of two liquids is homogeneous.

However, miscibility can only be applied to two liquids, so if you're talking about a brick and water, you cannot say that they are not miscible because that makes no sense.

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  • $\begingroup$ However, solid solutions do exit, such as many metal alloys, presumably then one solid is miscible in another. $\endgroup$ – porphyrin Sep 7 '18 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ @porphyrin You are totally correct. According to the IUPAC gold book, miscible is fine as long as a single phase, so it's not just for liquids... goldbook.iupac.org/html/M/MT07230.html $\endgroup$ – Zhe Sep 7 '18 at 17:04

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