The other day, when we were dealing with the chapter Solutions, our teacher asked us this:
If I add a drop of water, to a tin full of sugar (without mixing it in), what's the solvent here? The water or the sugar?
Naturally we were taken aback by the 'unorthodox' nature of the question. Seeing that none of us were in a position to answer that any time soon, he gave us the "answer":
It's the sugar. If you remember the definition we learnt ( solute + solvent = solution; between the solute and the solvent, the solvent is one present in a larger quantity and is in the same phase/state of matter as the solution ) you ought to have realized that, since there's more sugar than water, and at the end of the process the tin's filled with a solid.
Now that may seem like a clever way of testing our command of terminologies and definitions, but I saw a hitch there.
A solution is defined as a homogeneous mixture.
Adding a drop of water to a tin of sugar (without mixing it in) does not result in a homogeneous mixture. So as interesting as the question is, I feel it's flawed on this account... because what we're dealing with isn't technically even a solution.
Now I told this to my teacher, but he (quite deftly) side-stepped my query...a subtle way of indicating that he's not comfortable discussing this.
So I guess my question here boils down to this:
Was my teacher's "answer" correct? Or was the question seriously flawed to begin with?
I wouldn't call this a duplicate. Sure, I mean, both my question and the other one that was linked with this was about identifying the solvent and solute but I feel my question is distinct because:
1) It isn't answered well enough in the other question (that answer was too generalized... I've given a specific instance here)
2) I also want to know if a drop of water added to a tin full of sugar (without mixing it) can be considered a solution.