Everything around us—you, me, rocks, trees, and salt!—is made up of building blocks called atoms. You can think of atoms as tiny Lego bricks. Just like small Lego fit together to make bigger things, atoms come together to form bigger creations. Unlike Lego, though, atoms are way too small to see with your eyes. Only the world’s most powerful microscopes are able to see atoms!
So, salt is a collection of atoms that have come together to form a larger structure that you can see: a salt crystal. The atoms stay together in the crystal because they attract each other, and so they stick together. However, when you put that salt crystal into water, the water attracts the atoms in the crystal. The attraction between the water and the salt atoms is so strong that the atoms aren’t sticky enough to stay together. Instead, they are pulled apart, just like when you pull apart Lego bricks, and the salt dissolves. As the atoms are pulled apart, they are spread throughout the water. And, you can taste the difference!
When you put salt crystals into water, the water becomes salty. That’s the taste of all of the salt atoms in the water touching your tongue!
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