# If I mix a bunch of seasonings in a bowl, why do they mix homogeneously instead of clumps of a particular seasoning here or there?

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If I mix a bunch of seasonings in a bowl, why do they mix homogeneously instead of clumps of a particular seasoning here or there?

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Typically seasonings are all dry ingredients, so there’s nothing causing them to stick to each other and form clumps. On top of that, if they’re different sizes, the smaller spices will fill in the spaces between the bigger ones.

Mixing results in a random distribution of individual seasoning particles. There are a lot more different possible arrangements that are “mixed” than arrangements that are “sorted”. With large numbers of particles that means they will mix basically every time.

Particle size and closer in quantity portions.

The smaller the material, the more difficult it is to mix.

Paint has to be shaken as the colored particles are tiny so it can cover walls.

Most spices are ground courser than flours.

Mixing a pinch of salt or baking soda evenly throughout 2 cups of flour isn’t easy.

Mixing half sand with half gravel is way easier.

Nothing stops it, it’s just so incredibly unlikely that you’ll never see it.

Generally when we mix things all the possible ways things can mix are equally likely. There are gazillions of times more possible ways where the seasonings are mixed than there where for instance all the chilli pepper particles are on the right and all the tumeric particles are on the left.

For a simpler example, suppose you have a list of numbers, and then you want to mix them up – you can start with the list

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

If we mix it we might get something like 3, 10, 5, 1, 7, 8, 4, 9, 2, 6. Even and odd numbers are mixed to the left and right. High and low numbers are also mixed to the left and right. There are 3,628,800 different possible ways the numbers could be ordered. Only 14,400 of those ways have all the evens on the left and the odds on the right – just 0.4%

If we had 20 numbers instead of 10 then the chance of having all evens on the right and odds on the left would go down to just 0.0005%.

As your bowl of particles of spices has thousands or millions of particles, the chance of having all one type on the left and the other type on the right becomes absolutely tiny.