Centrifugation is used to separate phases in suspensions by density. I read that this is not possible with colloids and solutions, but the distinction between the three seems to be optical properties and correlated ranges of particle size. Larger particles take less time and centrifugal force to be separated, so is it possible that a sufficiently powerful centrifuge can separate miscible chemicals close in size like water and ethanol just based on their difference in density, even if they remix once the centrifuge slows? I know a more powerful ultracentrifuge can fractionate soluble proteins, a sucrose gradient being used to slow diffusion enough for fractionation afterwards, and a solution of caesium chloride will form a density gradient under ultracentrifugation.

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    $\begingroup$ It can even separate isotopes. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    May 26, 2018 at 16:09


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