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SOLUTIONS , SUSPENSIONS AND COLLOIDS -- SUMMARY TABLES

==>> For more on Mixtures (Solutions, Suspensions, Emulsions, Colloids )


Solution
Suspension
Colloid
Appearance

Clear, transparent and homogeneous
Cloudy, heterogeneous, at least two substances visibleCloudy but uniform and homogeneous
Particle Size molecule in sizelarger than 10,000 Angstroms10-1000 Angstroms
Effect of Light
Tyndall Effect
none -- light passes through, particles do not reflect lightvariable light is dispersed by colloidal particles
 Effect of Sedimentationnoneparticles will eventually
settle out
none

In summary:

A solution is always transparent, light passes through with no scattering from solute particles which are molecule in size. The solution is homogeneous and does not settle out. A solution cannot be filtered but can be separated using the process of distillation.

A suspension is cloudy and heterogeneous. The particles are larger than 10,000 Angstroms which allows them to be filtered. If a suspension is allowed to stand the particles will separate out.

A colloid is intermediate between a solution and a suspension. While a suspension will separate out a colloid will not. Colloids can be distinguished from solutions using the Tyndall effect. Light passing through a colloidal dispersion, such as smoky or foggy air, will be reflected by the larger particles and the light beam will be visible.

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