Table of Contents
Acids & Bases
Strength of Acid
History of Discovery of Acids
Natural Acids and Bases

Acids & Bases
Acids and bases are one of the groups in hydrogen compounds. An acid is any compound that contains hydrogen as its positive part, or it can be an ionic compound with hydrogen as its positive part of that compound (Newton 253).Also, it’s a substance that dissolves and forms ions of hydrogen. When an acid is forming, it loses a single electron making it a positive particle called a hydrogen ion or H+. Bases, on the other hand, are compounds that produce negative hydrogen ions although they are made of positive ions combined with hydroxide ions (Frank 104). A base that dissolves in water is known as an alkali (World Science 38) When this happens, the positive ions and hydroxide ions separate. One example of this is sodium hydroxide (Frank 105).

NaOH ------>Na+ † OH−

Strength of Acids
Acids and bases are either strong or weak. Their strength depends on how well an acid or base produces ions in water. The pH scale determines how strong a base or acid is. This is a range of numbers used to show the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. The lower pH says the concentration of hydrogen ions is high. The higher pH says the concentration of hydrogen ions is low. If the pH is lower than 7, the compounds are acidic. If the pH is higher than 7, they are basic. The lower numbers in the pH scale, or the stronger acids, are called corrosive (Frank 107). While corrosive acids burn your skin, strong bases and alkalis have a slimy feel (World Science 38). Overall, acids and bases can be either strong or weak.

Often, acids and bases react with each other. When this happens, it’s called neutralization. Neutralization is a reaction of an acid with a base, yielding a solution that is not as acidic or basic as the starting solutions. Salt is an ionic compound that can be made from process. Salt has a positive ion from its base and a negative ion from its acid. There are so many different types of salt that people use in daily life. To chemists, “salt” is referred to a specific group of compounds. There are also some salts that are soluble. Soluble means it is able to be dissolved. There are so many different types of reactions going on with bases of acids and it’s amazing on how it creates different things we use in everyday life (Frank 108-109).

History of Acids
Everyone pretty much knows what acids and bases are. But how were they discovered? Well, the first modern definition for acids and bases was created by a Swedish chemist, Svante Arrhenius. He proposed that acids be defined as chemicals that produce positively charged hydrogen ions and bases be described as negatively charged ions. Later on, in 1923, English chemist, Thomas Lowry and Danish chemists, J.N. Bronsted and N. Bjerrum stated that when acids are as chemicals, they donate a proton in a chemical reaction. When bases are as chemicals, they accept a proton in a reaction. This definition was more useful to chemists. Also in 1923, American chemist, Gilbert Newton Lewis, stated that acids could be referred to as any compound that accepts a pair of electrons from another substance. And bases could now be thought of as a compound that gives a pair of electrons; instead of gaining them. Throughout the years, chemists kept digging deeper and deeper into acids and bases (Newton 14-15). For example, Humphrey Davis was another chemist who investigated many acids and bases; mixing them together and studying the results. He also invented a miner’s safety lamp. This could give light in coal mines without setting off the natural gas, firedamp, which would explode without this acid. Many chemists have invented and discovered things that have helped us prosper scientifically and all of this is still being discovered today (World Science).

external image Arrhenius.gif

Natural Acids and Bases

Works Cited
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"Svante Arrhenius." The Encyclopidia of Science. Web. 18 May 2011. <>.

Frank, David V., John G. Little, and Steve Miller. Chemical Interactions. Boston: Pearson, 2009. Print.
Newton, David E., and Lawrence W. Baker. Chemical Elements. from Carbon to Krypton. Detroit: UXL, 1999. Print.
Newton, David E., Rob Nagel, and Bridget Travers. UXL Encyclopedia of Science, Vol. 1: A. Detroit: UXL, 1997. Print.

"Science." Glogster. Web. 18 May 2011. <>.
The World of Science. Bath, UK: Parragon Pub., 2004. Print.