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TGJ1: Solubility
Language Alert

Some people use ‘solubility’ when talking about how fast something dissolves. This is not using the word with its proper scientific meaning.

Solubility is about how much dissolves in a certain amount of solvent.
So far, we have just considered water, but we will consider different solvents very shortly.
We have explained what dissolving is but not why there are different solubilities. The particle theory can be developed to explain why different substances have different solubilities, but it involves some very advanced ideas. At the moment, we are simply demonstrating that there are differences.
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Notes on the ‘alum’ video
You may want to ask students why the rest of the crystals are crushed up and re-dissolved (to put back what came
out of the saturated solution) and why the beaker had been warmed (to prevent rapid cooling and crystals
forming too soon).
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‘Think for Yourself’ question
Would this method work for salt?
No. The solubility of salt in water increases only very slightly as the temperature of the water increases over this temperature range.
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