Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Homogeneous matter

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
What is homogenious matter?
- Brian (age 12)
Five Oaks Middle School, Beaverton, OR
A:
Ordinary matter is made up of little pieces called atoms. Atoms come in many different types, called different elements. Those atoms can combine in different ways into different types of molecules. Homogeneous matter has the same sorts of atoms or molecules in each little part, instead of different types in different parts.

An example of homogeneous matter is water. Each part is made of the same sort of water molecules. Some of the molecules fall apart for a while, but those little changes don't stay stuck in any one place for long. So every little drop is like every other little drop.

Oil and vinegar dressing is an example of something that's heterogeneous- not homogeneous. The oil and the vinegar, with different types of molecules, separate from each other.

Even "homogenized" milk is heterogeneous if you look closely. There are little blobs of fat molecules that are separate from the water molecules. You can call it homogeneous if you don't look too closely because each drop has about the same number of fat blobs.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-up on this answer.