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the ability of one substance to combine with another and form a homogeneous, thermodynamically stable system of variable composition made up of two or more components. These systems are formed upon interaction of gases with liquids, liquids with liquids, and other similar combinations. The ratios of the components to one another may be either arbitrary or restricted within certain limits. In the latter case, the solubility is said to be limited.
The solubility of a substance under given conditions is determined from the substance’s concentration in a saturated solution. The solubility of various substances in a specific solvent depends on external conditions, mainly on the temperature and pressure. The effect of pressure on solubility is most pronounced with gases. A change in external conditions affects solubility in accordance with the principle of equilibrium shift (see LECHÂTELiER’S PRINCIPLE). Solubility charts of various substances have been compiled for the most important solvents. Such charts either express solubility as a function of external conditions or simply list the solubility under standard conditions.