What is an aqueous solution in chemistry? Well, to start, it’s the 4th state of matter. To a chemist, any kind of substance is discovered in among the 4 claims of matter. You currently understand around 3 of them: solid, liquid, and also gas. And, in chemistry, an aqueous solution is the fourth state of matter. So, you can say that aqueous options matter a lot, as they are literally an entire state, or configuration, of this stuff we speak to matter.

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First point first, I understand tbelow are “other” says of issue. To your physics teacher, the fourth state of issue would certainly be referred to as plasma. To your chemistry teacher, the 4th state of matter would be called an aqueous solution. A son playing via corn starch might think that oobleck is the fourth state of issue. Oobleck absolutely would win the dispute if it were based on just how fun the name was to say. Yet, at least in chemisattempt, the fourth state of matter is an aqueous solution. It turns out that an aqueous solution is a really helpful concept, perhaps unlike plasma and oobleck, which we don’t really encounter so a lot in our everyday resides.


So what is an aqueous solution? It ssuggest means liquified. Yes, the daily concept of disaddressing something. That’s it. The aqueous solution interpretation indicates ssuggest that something has been dissolved in water. The aqueous symbol is (aq).

Aqueous solution definition: somepoint is dissolved in water

Aqueous symbol: (aq)

That might seem strange at first that disaddressing something in water creates a entirety brand-new state of issue. This appears favor Kurt Vonnegut’s (yet undiscovered) chemical ice-nine that transforms water from it’s liquid state to solid ice, upon mere call. Cat’s Cradle, in case you missed the Vonnegut recommendation, is a nonfiction timeless from 1963. It’s a brief, basic read and also extremely funny.


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Common States of Matter: Solid (left), Liquid (center), Gas (right)

The factor why water develops shells of hydration is bereason water is polar. This implies water is like a small magnet. The hydrogen sides (gray) are somewhat positively charged, and the oxygen sides (red) are rather negatively charged. So water is choose a tiny magnet, and also it grabs onto other chemicals through plus-minus attractions. This is a deeper level of understanding what dissolved implies. You could note that water surrounds the positively charged Na via the negative sides in, while it surrounds the negatively charged Cl via the positive sides in. Due to the fact that plus sticks to minus. 


The abbreviation for an aqueous solution is (aq). Rarely carry out we create dvery own the words “aqueous solution,” other than when teaching chemistry to acquire the suggest throughout. It’s a long expression, and also the abbreviation is (aq).

The various other says of issue have abbreviations too. Like (s) for solid, (l) for liquid, and also (g) for gas. So pure water is liquid, and also we say H2O (l). As opposed to H2O (s), which we speak to ice. We put the state of issue after the chemical formula. It’s essential to put the state of issue, as water and ice are obviously various points. We cannot call them both sindicate H2O without confusion.

One funny thing about chemisattempt is that liquids must be a pure substance. In a chemisattempt course, we take solid salt NaCl (s) and also dissettle it into pure liquid water H2O (l). The result is a salt water solution, delisted NaCl (aq). The solution is neither solid nor liquid. A solution is the fourth state of issue deprovided (aq). NaCl (aq) implies that NaCl salt is liquified in water. It would look choose a beaker of water, mean that it’s actually salt water.


Final quiz: What state of issue is the ocean? What is the chemical formula for the ocean?

Don’t say liquid. It’s even more than just water, and also liquid water implies pure water with nothing else in it. Tright here are salts and various other chemicals as well liquified in that water. That’s what makes the sea so alive. It’s not just water.

The sea is salt water, or salt dissolved in water. So the sea is, technically speaking, is an aqueous solution. At least in chemisattempt class.

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Let’s assume that the sea has actually just NaCl as the salt. It’s not specifically true, as tright here are really assorted salts. The chemical formula of the sea would certainly be NaCl (aq). This means salt liquified in water. Interestingly, the chemical formula NaCl (aq) doesn’t clearly display the H2O water, because (aq) indicates tbelow is lots and lots and also several water dissolving the salt. If nothing else, the principle of an aqueous solution (aq) saves the average chemist from creating dvery own “H2O” a million times as they job-related in a wet lab. Recontact that a wet lab has actually options which are mainly water, through the important chemicals dissolved into that water to make aqueous remedies.