Acids and bases

Acids and bases

Acids and bases

03/12/17

“What are Acids and bases?”

 

Think back to when you were younger. You were in your high school chemistry class, and you were learning about these items called acids and bases. You have heard these words many times in your everyday lives, but you had no idea what they were and what they actually did. Well, this lesson will fix that.
Before we begin everything, we must contemplate one fact, the presence of hydride[h-] ions within substances. In the case of water, there is 1 hydride molecule for every ten million water chemicals or 1*10^-7 hydride for every hydrogen! Since the scale of hydride ions in different substances are usually in orders of magnitude difference, it would be easier to take the log of the concentration level and flip the sign so we could put it on a standardized scale. Let’s use water as our example. Since water has 10^-7 hydride molecules for every of its own, we would represent this as -log(10^-7) which would output as 7. And if an element has ten times more hydride ions in its density, it would be 6, and ten times less, it would be 8. We call this standardized level a pH level (pH → power of hydrogen). This pH level is what Scientists and Engineers use to determine the level of acidity in a substance or the amount of hydroxide ions. If the pH level is below 7, then an acid is considered to be more acidic, and if it is above 7, then it is considered to be more basic. Acids taste sour and react strongly with metals, while bases taste bitter and feel slippery.

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