Skip to main content

The science of macaroni salad: What's in a mixture? - Josh Kurz


32,484 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

What’s in macaroni salad? Break down the pasta, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, vegetables, etc., and you’re left with a bunch of molecules. Josh Kurz uses a delicious recipe to exemplify three types of mixtures (solution, colloid and suspension), while reminding us that we’re all made of the same stuff.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

A mixture is a combination of two or more substances that are not chemically united and do not exist in fixed proportions to each other. Most natural substances are mixtures.
Here's the basics of mixtures.
Check out this website for a short explanation of the differences between elements, compounds, and mixtures.
Still uncertain? Read this answer.
Is oil and water a mixture? TEDxOilSpill speaker Lisa Margonelli explains the chemistry of oil and what happens when it spills into water.
Here's a really cool article about mixing oil and water.
Now, go do it on your own. Really observe what's happening. Ask yourself questions about mistures: Why doens't everything blend evenly? Why doesn't the oil just absorb the water? Why doesn't the oil dissolve in the water? What happens when you vigorously shake the container? Does it change when you heat / freeze it?

Next Section »

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Sound Designer Bill Connor
  • Educator Josh Kurz
  • Animator Josh Kurz, Shane Winter
  • Narrator Josh Kurz

More from Actions and Reactions