acid_base - University of Florida Chemistry Outreach...

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University of Florida Chemistry Outreach Program Introduction to Acids, Bases, and the pH Scale Estimated Time: 50 mins. + 10 mins. clean-up Topics: Acid/base characteristics, pH scale, Household acids/bases, SC.H.1.3 Introduction: Acids and bases play an essential and unavoidable role in our everyday lives. Besides helping scientists understand and account for the particulars of countless chemical reactions, the knowledge of acid/base chemistry provides for an empirical and objective means of classifying household substances and everyday items. The pH scale is a logarithmic measure of the Hydrogen ion [H+] concentration in a solution. The scale extends from 0-14; pH ranges between 0-6 denote acidic solutions, 8-14 are basic, and a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Through organic dye indicators, as well as with specially coated pH indicator strips (which will be used in this lab), even those without access to expensive electronic equipment can easily determine the pH of any solutions of their choosing. Objective: This lab will introduce and reinforce the basic principles of acids, bases, and the pH scale. Emphasis will be placed on the chemistry of pH rather than its mathematical origins. Most middle school textbooks will define acids and bases in very elementary terms, usually exclusively with regard to the “taste,” “feel,” or “smell” of acidic and basic solutions. Acids are said to “taste” sour, “feel” corrosive, and “smell” sharp, while bases are bitter, slippery, and have an undetermined smell. Clearly such definitions are lacking and may also imply poor and unsafe lab practices (by
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acid_base - University of Florida Chemistry Outreach...

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