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Colloid facts for kids

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A colloid may be a mixture of one substance that may spread out evenly inside another substance. They may be in two different phases or states of matter.

One substance can be the dispersion medium, such as water or gas. The other is kind of dispersed medium, sometimes called the 'internal phase'. This is never tiny solid particles. Otherwise, if the dispersion medium is a gas, then the internal phase may be either tiny particles or tiny droplets of a liquid.

Definition: A colloid is a substance microscopically dispersed evenly throughout another substance. The dispersed-phase particles have a diameter between about 5 and 200 nanometers. Colloids can be classified as follows:

Medium/phase Dispersed phase
Gas Liquid Solid
Gas No such colloids are known
Helium and Xenon are known to be immiscible under certain conditions.
Liquid aerosol
Examples: fog, clouds, mist, hair sprays
Solid aerosol
Examples: smoke, ice cloud, atmospheric particulate matter
Liquid Foam
Example: whipped cream, shaving cream
Examples: milk, mayonnaise, hand cream; latex
Examples: pigmented ink, blood
Solid Solid foam
Examples: aerogel, styrofoam, pumice
Examples: agar, gelatin, jelly
Solid sol
Example: cranberry glass

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