Acids and Bases

Vinegar, aspirin, Vitamin C, baking soda, and ammonia—many common substances are acids or bases. Investigate the properties, principles, and applications of acid–base chemistry.


Introduction to Acids and Bases

Acid wit, acid rain, and an acid test—these familiar expressions are clues to the properties of acids. Explore the properties of aqueous solutions and classify them as acidic, basic or neutral.

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Acid-Base Indicators

Indicators are organic dyes that change color in different pH ranges. The use of indicators to characterize acids and bases dates to the discovery of litmus in the 1500s.

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Neutralization Reactions

Neutralization of a strong acid and a strong base gives a neutral solution, that is pH 7. The final pH of other neutralization reactions depends on the strengths of the acid and base.

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Natural Indicators and Household Substances

Roses are red, violets are blue—or are they? Red roses, as well as many other flowers and fruits, contain natural indicators that are sensitive to acids and bases. Natural indicators are a logical choice for analyzing common acids and bases.

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Weak Acids and Bases

Not all acids are created equal! Compare the strength of strong versus weak acids and bases by measuring the pH values for equal concentrations of solutions.

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Buffers

Buffers provide an essential acid–base balance in consumer products, foods, lakes and streams, and even living cells. What are buffers made of and how do they work?

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