Elemtary Overview of Acids and Bases

Topics: Acid, PH, Base Pages: 3 (1110 words) Published: June 10, 2012
Chemistry A
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4/6/12
Acid and Base Report
If someone were to ask the common teenager in the US, “What’s acid?” they would probably respond with something akin to “It’s that one drug that makes you see stuff that isn’t really there and just kinda makes you crazy”. And if that same someone was to ask that same teenager, “What’s a base?” their response would most likely have something to do with either baseball, or freeze-tag. The thing is, most people don’t really understand the most common scientific phenomena occurring in their daily life; so asking the average person something as specific as, “What’s acid?” or “What’s a base?” and expecting an intelligent and otherwise accurate response is baseically (pun intended) unheard of. In the world we live in, information is everything. If you don’t know something, you can just text Cha-Cha or Google it on your smartphone; and usually the first thing you find is a satisfying answer to whatever questions you may have. Not so true when it comes to most everything in chemistry. If you Google, “What is acid and what is a base?” probably one of the first answers you will find goes something like this, “Acid: a corrosive substance that neutralizes alkalis, dissolves metals, and has a pH less than 7. Base: a substance that donates electrons, accepts protons, neutralizes acids and has a pH about 7”. Now I know almost none of that made sense so I’m going to break it down for you. In the most colloquial and otherwise vulgar terms, an acid is a sour substance that can dissolve metal and (depending on the acidity) can cause a burning sensation on your skin. A base is a substance above 7 on the pH scale, and can likewise do serious damage to your skin (again, depending on the strength of the base, the causticity if you will) As for the pH, that is just the scale (from 1-14, 1 being most acidic, 7 being neutral, and 14 being most basic) that acids and bases are categorized by. Life as we know it would not be possible without...
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