Will the Concentration of any dissolvable substance be uniformly distributed in any type of liquid?

I am willing to read more about this topic , so if you have good suggestions for helpful books , please share it with us 😊

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That depends on (1) how much time you give the system and (2) what exactly you mean by "uniform." $\endgroup$ – Zhe Jun 28 '17 at 20:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For instance if you let sugar dissolve in water without stirring, then the concentration of sugar at the bottom of the liquid will be more sugar concentrated than the liquid at the top. The solution will eventually equilibrate, but it will take a "long" time. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Jun 28 '17 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ Uniform: Every unit volume has the same amount of particles of that particular substance $\endgroup$ – doumham Jun 28 '17 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking about gravity factors actually. That the concentration must be higher the lower we go due to gravity force acting on the particles . $\endgroup$ – doumham Jun 28 '17 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ Not if it's a solution. In suspensions gravity matters, but in molecular scale it's not important. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jun 28 '17 at 22:03

Using a FULLY MIXED sugar solution (in a closed container to prevent evaporation) as an example, if you could measure out successive 1-ml samples with perfect accuracy, and could count the sugar molecules in each sample with perfect accuracy, you would expect to find that the number of sugar molecules varies and follows a normal distribution with a mean value corresponding to the "nominal" concentration of the solution.

You can observe this phenomenon experimentally in the case of standard solutions containing a given DNA sequence. When you create a series of increasingly diluted samples and then analyze each dilution multiple times using a PCR assay designed to detect that sequence (modern PCR assays can literally detect one molecule of DNA!), you begin to observe the expected proportion of negative sample results as you approach a dilution factor corresponding to one copy of DNA per sample. That is because when you repeatedly sample your solution containing a nominal concentration of one DNA copy per sample, some physical samples will have zero copies, some will have one (highest probability), some will have two, etc. with decreasing probability as you go up.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.