Homogeneous Definition and Examples

Understand What Homogeneous Means in Chemistry

A mixture that looks the same no matter where you sample it is a homogeneous solution.
A mixture that looks the same no matter where you sample it is a homogeneous solution. RapidEye, Getty Images

Homogeneous Definition

Homogeneous refers to a substance that is consistent or uniform throughout its volume. A sample taken from any part of a homogeneous substance will have the same characteristics as a sample taken from another area.

Examples: Air is considered a homogeneous mixture of gases. Pure salt has a homogeneous composition. In a more general sense, a group of school children all dressed in the same uniform may be considered homogeneous.

In contrast, the term "heterogeneous" refers to a substance that has an irregular composition. A mixture of apples and oranges is heterogeneous. A bucket of rocks contains a heterogeneous mixture of shapes, sizes, and composition. A group of different barnyard animals is heterogeneous. A mixture of oil and water is heterogeneous because the two liquids do not mix evenly. If a sample is taken from one part of the mixture, it may not contain equal amounts of oil and water.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Homogeneous Definition and Examples." ThoughtCo, Oct. 12, 2017, thoughtco.com/definition-of-homogeneous-605214. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, October 12). Homogeneous Definition and Examples. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-homogeneous-605214 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Homogeneous Definition and Examples." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-homogeneous-605214 (accessed January 21, 2018).