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Acids & Bases

Learn about acids, bases, and pH. This section includes acid-base lecture notes, study guides, and quizzes.
  1. Acids (22)
  2. Bases (9)
  3. Buffers (3)
  4. pH (18)

Acids, Bases and pH
Learn about acids, bases and pH, including definitions, examples and calculations.

Acid and Base Definitions
Your Guide presents Arrhenius, Bronsted-Lowry, and Lewis definitions of acids and bases. Lists of properties of acids and bases and common examples are provided.

Formulas of Common Acids & Bases
Here are the names and formulas of some of the common acids and bases. Learn how to apply prefixes and suffixes to name the acids and bases.

Strength of Acids and Bases
Learn about strong and weak acids and bases. Get definitions and examples of each type.

What Is the Strongest Acid?
Do you know what the strongest acid is? I'll give you a hint. It's not hydrochloric acid nor is it sulfuric acid.

Amino Acid Chirality
This is an introduction to stereoisomerism of amino acids, with Fisher projections and stereorepresentations of serine used as an example. There are links to learn more about amino acids and about chirality of other molecules.

Amino Acid Structures
These are the structures for the twenty natural amino acids, plus the general structure for an amino acid.

Baggie Chemistry - Experiment with Chemical Reactions
Introduce students to chemical reactions and experimentation using common materials and baggies.

Basics of Acids and Bases Quiz
How well do you understand the basic concepts of acids, bases, and pH? Here's a ten question multiple choice and true/false quiz you can take to test yourself.

Buffers are an important concept in acid-base chemistry. Here's a look at what buffers are and how they function.

Cabbage pH Paper Video
Have you ever wanted to make your own pH paper test strips? This is an easy project that you can complete in a few minutes. Here's a video that guides you through the steps of making pH paper test strips yourself.

Cabbage pH Indicator Color Range
See the range of colors you can expect from red cabbage juice when it is used as a pH indicator.

Calculating pH
Here is an example of an acid/base problem to calculate the pH of an aqueous solution where the concentration of H+ is known.

Calculating pH of a Strong Acid
Here is an example of an acid/base problem to calculate the pH of a strong acid.

Calculating pH of a Strong Base
Here is an example of an acid/base problem to calculate the pH of a strong base.

Calculating pH of a Weak Acid
Here is an example of an acid/base problem to calculate the pH of a weak acid solution of known concentration.

Do You Add Sulfuric Acid to Water or Water to Sulfuric Acid?
It's important to add sulfuric acid to water and not water to concentrated sulfuric acid. Here's an explanation of why you don't want to make a mistake and some mnemonics that might help you remember how to play it safe in the chemistry lab.

Effect of Acids and Bases on the Browning of Apples
Perform an experiment to observe the effects of acids, bases, and water on the rate of browning of cut apples or other produce.

Fried Green Egg
Red cabbage juice contains a natural pH indicator that changes color from purple to green under basic (alkaline) conditions. You can use this reaction to make a fried green egg.

Henderson Hasselbalch Equation and Example
You can calculate the pH of a buffer solution or the concentration of the acid and base using the Henderson Hasselbalch equation. Here's a look at the Henderson Hasselbalch equation and a worked example that explains how to apply the equation.

Home and Garden pH Indicators
Here's a list of common household substances and garden plants that can be used as pH indicators. Many of the active molecules, expected color changes, and pH ranges are listed.

Negative pH
Is it possible to have a negative pH value? If you are given the molarity of hydrogen ions of an acid that is greater than one, you'll calculate a negative pH value for the acid. Can that really happen? Here's the answer.

Neutralizing an Acid with a Base
This example demonstrates the method used to calculate the amount of an acid of known concentration needed to neutralize a base of known concentration.

pH Basics
This is a quick overview of what pH is and how you can perform typical pH calculations.

pH of Common Chemicals
Here's a table of the pH of several common chemicals. You can use the list to set up color ranges for pH indicators or simply to learn more about acids and bases.

pH Scale
This is a color diagram of the pH scale. The pH of common chemicals is indicated.

Phosphate Buffer
A phosphate buffer is a handy buffer solution to have around, especially for biological applications. Because phosphoric acid has multiple dissociation constants, you can prepare phosphate buffers for any of the three pHs.

Rainbow Wand Chemistry Demonstration
An acid-base rainbow wand is an easy and colorful chemistry demonstration which illustrates the range of colors available for a pH indicator solution.

Red Cabbage pH Indicator
Make your own pH indicator solution! Red cabbage juice contains a natural pH indicator that changes colors according to the acidity of the solution. Red cabbage juice indicator is easy to make, exhibits a wide range of colors, and can be used to make your own pH paper strips.

Salt Formation Chemistry
Learn about the chemistry behind salt formation, including neutralization and hydrolysis reactions.

Strong Acids
These are the strong acids. There are only sixstrong acids, so you might want to commit the list of strong acids to memory.

Strong Bases
Strong bases are bases which completely dissociate in water. Here is a list of the most common strong bases.

Titration Basics - Acids Bases and Buffers
Grasp the basic chemical concepts of titration, a technique used to determine the molarity of an acid or a base.

Titration Curves
Titration is a technique used in analytical chemistry to determine the concentration of an unknown acid or base. For all acids, the shape of the graph plotting pH against volume of base titrated fits the same general shapes.

Tris Buffer
Tris has a pKa of 8.1 so Tris buffer is made at pH 7 to pH 9. You can prepare this buffer at any concentration and any volume and use it to prevent large swings in the pH of a solution.

Vitamin C Determination by Iodine Titration
Use this redox-based iodometric titration to determine the amount of Vitamin C or ascorbic acid in juice and other samples.

Acid Solutions
Learn how to prepare common acid solutions using this handy table.

Base Solutions
Prepare solutions of common bases using this handy reference table which lists the amount of concentrated base solution that is used to make 1 L of base solution.

Acids and Bases Lesson Plan
This chemistry lesson plan covers essential acids and bases terminology and offers students hands-on experience testing common home chemicals to determine whether they are acids, bases or neutral. Only household materials are required for this lesson.

Edible pH Indicators Color Chart
This is a color change chart for edible pH indicators.

What Is the pH of Milk?
Do you know whether milk is considered an acid or a base? Here's a look at the pH of milk.

Strong and Weak Acids and Bases Quiz
Practice identifying strong and weak acids and bases with this chemistry quiz.

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