♦ A homogeneous mixture of two or more non-reactive substances is called a solution. A solution is prepared by dissolving one or more substances in another substance.
♦ Solute and solvent are the two components of the solution. The dissolved component is called solute whereas the component in which solute is dissolved is referred to as a solvent. A solution will contain only one solvent but can contain many solutes.
♦ Physical properties such as density and refractive index are uniform throughout the solution. However, these properties can vary depending on the solvent and solute ratio. For example, the physical properties of a 10 % (w/w) sugar solution will be different from 20% (w/w) sugar solution.
♦ Depending on the physical state of the solvent, a solution can exist in all three physical forms: Liquid, Solid, and Gas. All different types of solutions and their examples are summarized in the following table.

Solution physical stateSolvent physical stateSolute physical stateCommon termExampleRemarks
LiquidLiquidSolidSolid in liquidSugar-containing drinksSolution of sugar (solute, solid) in water (solvent, solvent)
LiquidLiquidLiquid in liquidAlcoholic drinksSolution of alcohol (solute, liquid) in water (solvent, liquid)
LiquidGasGas in liquidCarbonated waterSolution of CO2 (solute, gas) in water (solvent, liquid)
SolidSolidSolidSolid in SolidSteelA solution of carbon atoms (solute, solid) in iron (solvent, solid)
SolidLiquidLiquid in SolidDental amalgamSolution of Mercury (solute, liquid) in silver (solvent, solid)
SolidGasGas in solidHydrogen in palladiumA solution of Hydrogen (solute, gas) in palladium (solvent, solid)
GasGasGasGas in GasAirA solution of gases like CO2, O2 etc (solute, gas) in N2 (solvent, gas). Remember that N2 constitutes the highest proportion (≈ 78%) of air. 

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