Chem – Concentration and Saturation

What is concentration?

Concentration is a way to define the amount of a substance in a certain amount of space. Luckily concentration is a natural thing for people to measure. Our sense of taste is how we measure concentration. Since every bite we take is approximately the same size (volume) then all that we measure when we taste something sweet is the amount of sugar in the space of our mouth.


What is saturation?

The other terminology that you have to get used to in this lesson are words about how much solute you put in the solvent. The three words we have to understand are unsaturated, saturated, and supersaturated. These three words come about because different amounts of solute in a solvent can change what you observe happening in the container. I like to think about the amount of solute you can put into a solvent as a party in a house. The house can only hold so many people. Just like the solvent can only hold so much solute. You can allow a small number of people into the house, just like you can put a small amount of solute into the solvent (unsaturated). You can fill the house to maximum capacity, just like you can put the maximum amount of solute into the solvent (saturated). If you want to go beyond that point of maximum then you have to change the conditions. In a house party you would then have to open up the back yard to allow more people in than can fit in your house. In a solution you can do a similar thing by changing the temperature or pressure to allow more solute into the solution (supersaturated).

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