1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Salt water solution

  1. Nov 19, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    If NaCl dissociates into Na+ and Cl- ions when dissolved in water, why does the solution still taste salty?


    2. Relevant equations
    None


    3. The attempt at a solution
    I think its because a chemical change hasn't happened. Am I right? Can someone go into a bit more detail please?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2007 #2

    chemisttree

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Is it possible to taste anhydrous salts (with a moist tongue)?
     
  4. Nov 19, 2007 #3
    So we can only taste salt when its dissolved in water?
     
  5. Nov 19, 2007 #4

    symbolipoint

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    You are asking a physiology question. Sodium chloride dissolves and is ionized in water. Taste depends on substances being dissolved when they contact our tongue and its tastebuds. I suspect that olfactory sense works similarly, but maybe our "buds" there need to be at least a little bit moist.
     
  6. Nov 19, 2007 #5
    Well the people above me are most likely correct but I think the answer is even simpler. Our taste of the salt water depends just on the Na+ ion and Cl- ion being present. They do not have to be in solid form. Thats why we still taste the salt in the salt water.

    Also when you put solid salt in your mouth. Your tongue is what?
     
  7. Nov 19, 2007 #6

    symbolipoint

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    We have four tastes and each is detected on a corresponding region of the tongue. Salty taste is detected on a specific region, different from each of the other three regions (being for sweet, bitter, and sour). This is why the original question may really be about physiology. How to account for any particular ions about taste on the tongue -- can't say; and I would not really want to suggest experimenting with this through this online forum (safety problem in case someone does something foolish or dangerous). Chemistry instruction typically and sensibly discourages the tasting of substances
     
  8. Nov 20, 2007 #7
    LOL. I think you misunderstood me b/c I wasn't doubting your answer at all. In fact I completely agree that its a physiology question. And I know about the different regions...

    I think it would be difficult to prove this because of the fact that it's a physiology question. It's like saying what came first the chicken or the egg? But what I was saying was my own thinking. Which may or may not be correct.
     
  9. Nov 21, 2007 #8

    chemisttree

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Yes. You don't taste the solid, just that fraction that has dissolved from it.
     
  10. Nov 23, 2007 #9
    Thanks guys, you've really driven the point hard.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Salt water solution
  1. Salt Solution problem (Replies: 1)

  2. Water and salt (Replies: 2)

Loading...