What is an emulsion?

Andrey Kim
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What is an emulsion?

Emulsion is a significant term, but it is mainly used in two areas - chemistry and photography. However, in our life we also constantly meet with emulsions.

Let's see what an emulsion is in both terms and what kind of emulsions we constantly encounter in everyday life.

Emulsion in chemistry

In chemistry, an emulsion refers to a dispersed system, which consists of microscopic droplets of a liquid (dispersed phase), which is distributed in another liquid (dispersed medium). Simply put, an emulsion is a liquid that is saturated with insoluble droplets of another liquid.

The most well-known emulsion is milk, in which drops of milk fat are distributed in an aqueous medium. Almost any paint is also an emulsion, like many other materials used in construction.

Distinguish between direct and reverse emulsions, in a direct emulsion, water is a dispersion medium (oil in water), in the reverse, water is already a dispersion phase (water in oil).

Emulsion in photography

In photography, an emulsion is called a photosensitive layer on photographic paper and photographic film. Emulsion contains grains of silver halides, which can determine the photosensitivity, contrast and optical resolution.