Thursday, February 17, 2011

Think About This: Anything can dissolve in anything else!

I'm no expert in this field, but I've been puzzled by these thoughts for about a week now. In a class I'm auditing (taught by my PI Steve Koch) we're talking about entropy and the principles that cause things to dissolve into other things. This got me to think about how we generally perceive water to be the universal solvent. Most chemicals under standard temperature and pressure (ie normal earth conditions) can be dissolved in water.

Then I started thinking about other things and I want you to think about them too. What would it be like to dissolve water? There are reactions that break apart water to use a hydrogen or a hydorxide (OH), but what would it look like to pour water into sugar in special conditions and the water is what dissolves? Personally, I don't know but the thought freaks me out a bit.

What about dissolving salt in oil? I'm sure this can happen too. Why not dissolve anything in oil? After all if water and oil don't mix something crazy must happen when you dissolve things in oil. Could you break the laws of physics? (No, but it's funny to think about.) I'm probably driving myself insane and nothing really happens, but just thinking about this stuff freaks me out for some reason (and it could be completely normal that this happens). Just think about it...

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