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Physics
Chemistry
Oceans and Seas
Elements and Compounds

Do you just add the volume of the water with the volume of the salt to get the total volume of both mixed in a solution?

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April 21, 2009 4:25AM

Nope. The volume does not change but the density of the mixture increases. No, the volume of water is straight forward to measure but salt as a solid composed of small crystals has an aparent volume wich includes many voids filled with air. Assuming you have measured properly the two components volumes adding them will provide you with what is known as ideal volume, but reality deviates from this linear additive values. Especially with electrolytes such as sodium chloride the final volume differs from ideal addition values expected.The topic has been extensively studied and explained by science, look for partial molar volumes concept and equations in basic physical chemistry textbooks. Remember that mass is conservative and that density is defined as mass per unit volume, say grams per milliliter. It is right to say that density changes ( measuring densities is the way to construct partial molar volumes graphs), since mass is conservative the only way to get density changes is by increasing or decreasing volumes. Solutions are classified as ideal (additive volumes) or non ideal (non additive volumes). Hope this solves your question.