Would a Changeling be able to mix with other substances? In DS9, it said Odo couldn’t really eat, he described it as “messy”. Did that mean that the food or liquid fell out of him or that it mixed with him and it took a while to get un-mixed?

Another slightly different question is are Changelings’ molecules polar or nonpolar? Would they be able to mix with certain substances and not others?

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    Given that Odo can become (threoretically) both a gas and a flame, the bigger question is "Are changelings magical?" – Valorum Nov 10 '18 at 9:14

Starfleet sensor technology, which can measure quantum-level disturbances in matter, is incapable of detecting Changelings who have shape-shifted into another person or object. Additionally, Changeling can imitate the properties of metal, cloth, living tissue, and even fire and fog. They can even produce functioning electrical components such as combadges. All of this suggests that their molecules and even their atomic and subatomic composition can change along with their shape. Therefore they are neither consistently polar or nonpolar.

As for their natural "orange goo" state, very little is known of its composition, although it is known to contain "morphogenic enzymes." Enzymes are catalytic proteins, so they do contain at least some organic molecules. In human biology, proteins usually have both polar and nonpolar domains to coordinate their chemistry.

As for the issue of mixing, I cannot think of any occasions on which a Changeling mixed with any other form of matter while in their natural state. Indeed, they seem to have a remarkable ability to remain intact even when in contact with materials which would usually disrupt or absorb a liquid. For example, Odo doesn't even get Lwaxana Troi's clothes wet when he's forced to, ah, melt with her in DS9: The Forsaken. The aforementioned case of Laas shifting into fog does give an example of a Changeling mixing with air, but since gases always mix regardless of polarity, this doesn't tell us anything.

  • Then again, since changelings are susceptible to the morphogenic virus, it would appear they cannot change their molecular polarity at will or they could simply avoid being contaminated. – Codosaur Nov 10 '18 at 10:53
  • From chemical point of view this answer is even worse then the question. – Mithoron Nov 17 '18 at 16:16
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    @Mithoron Are saying that I did a bad job interpreting the available on-screen evidence? Or that the available on-screen evidence makes no scientific sense? – ApproachingDarknessFish Nov 17 '18 at 21:09
  • "Air is composed mostly of water vapor (polar) and diatomic nitrogen and oxygen (nonpolar). So once again, it would seem reasonable to conclude they can change their molecule's polarity as they wish depending on their current form." Makes no sense, at least in real world. – Mithoron Nov 17 '18 at 21:12
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    @Mithoron I admit it's been a couple years since I took genchem. Perhaps some constructive/corrective criticism could be in order instead of blanket negativity? – ApproachingDarknessFish Nov 17 '18 at 21:25

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