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Factors Affecting Solubility
A solution is a liquid mixture with two or more components. The liquid part of the mixture is called the solvent, and the smaller dissolved part of the mixture is called the solute. Solutions are assumed to be uniform mixtures, meaning that the solute is evenly spread throughout the whole mixture. When the solvent of a liquid solution is water, we refer to the solution as an aqueous solution.
A solute can be a solid, liquid or gas, and each has a particular solubility in a given solvent. Solubility refers to how much of a solute that can be dissolved in a given amount of solvent. When the maximum amount of a solute is dissolve the solution is considered saturated. When there is more solute than what can be dissolved by the solvent, the solution is considered supersaturated. In supersaturated solutions, the part of the solute that was incapable of dissolving shows up in the form of solid particles, layers in the liquid, or gas bubbles.
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