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Hi! How are you guys? I need some help: Could you give me (or do you know where I could get) a list of about 5 or 6 (it doesnt hurt if there are more, though) immiscible liquids with densities that vary quite substantially from each other? (They would all need to be liquids at room temperature) I have had some trouble finding liquids on the internet that would REALLY NOT want to mix with each other for a density experiment. I need some liquids that would not mix, or mix VERY little even when they are shaken. Thanks so much for your help!
Question Date: 2009-09-17
Answer 1:

I can easily think of three: mercury, water, and oil or gasoline. I'm not sure there are more that are readily available, though - anything polar will mix with water, anything nonpolar will mix with the oil, and there aren't very many polar liquids less dense than oil, or non-polars more dense than water.

As far as shaking is concerned, what you need is a range of densities. Mercury is *extremely* dense, denser than lead, so it will stay at the bottom. The others will form emulsions when shaken, though.

Answer 2:

I'm guessing that there aren't 5 or 6 un-miscible liquids that are safe to handle.In biology and chemistry, we tend to think about water-soluble [hydrophilic] chemicals and oil-soluble [hydrophobic or lipophilic] chemicals. That's only 2 types of liquids - oil and water. Mercury, of course, is a highly toxic liquid; it might not mix with oil or water. Alcohols mix with oil and water. Liquids such as dimethyl sulfoxide and glycerol mix with water.

Best wishes,

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