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I'm making ham stew and I sprinkle salt on top of the liquid. Will is disperse?

  1. Dec 20, 2012 #1
    What are the factors affecting dispersion of salt in a mixture?

    Obviously stirring will guarantee effective mixing, but I'm wondering how much I could expect the salt to disperse throughout the stew if I were to not touch it.

    The stew is near/at boiling (100 C), but it is not vigorously boiling, so I don't expect any convective mass transport of the salt. I expect diffusion alone to drive the movement of the salt ions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 20, 2012 #2


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    Diffusion is very slow (you can probably neglect it for reasonable cooking times) - even without visible boiling, you have convective flow, at least if heat comes from the bottom.
  4. Dec 20, 2012 #3
    what he said. diffusion is slow, convection will dominate as long as the temperature gradient is big enough. also you can sprinkle the salt at different places so that the initial conditions are more dispersed.
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