Imagine you have a box of plastic counters. Some of them are green, some blue, some red and some yellow.
If each counter represented a different substance we would say we had a mixture .
We have a mixture when there is more than one substance in our container.
Example: muddy water would be a mixture. It countains mud and water
How can I separate my mixture?
Well, if we had counters it would be easy.
We would tip them all out of the box and arrange them into four piles: green counters, blue counters, red counters and yellow counters
With real substances it is more difficult to separate them.
We can make water water clean by pouring it through a filter.
The particles of mud get stuck in the holes and clear water drips through.
Four ways to separating a mixture
A sieve is used to separate small solid particles from larger ones.
Using a sieve to separate sand from pebbles.
Example: separating iron filings from sand
Picture 1: we have a mixture of iron filings and sand on a piece of paper
Picture 2: When a magnet is slowly pulled away from the mixture the iron sticks to the magnet leaving the sand behind
Using a magnet to separate iron filings from sand
Using filter paper to remove dirt from water
Evaporation is used when we want to get back a substance that has been dissolved
Evaporating water from salty water to get the salt
When we have only one substance, for example just blue counters, we say that it is pure.
Perfectly clean water is pure because it contains only water
Salty water is a mixture because it contains salt and water.