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Making the Transition to University Chemistry

Making the Transition to University Chemistry

Michael Clugston, Malcolm Stewart, and Fabrice Birembaut
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date: 14 July 2024

p. 65 Chapter 7 Acid–base Equilibriumlocked

p. 65 Chapter 7 Acid–base Equilibriumlocked

  • Michael Clugston, Michael Clugstonformerly Tonbridge School
  • Malcolm StewartMalcolm StewartUniversity of Oxford
  •  and Fabrice BirembautFabrice BirembautCaen, France


This chapter explains the acid-base equilibrium. This involves the transfer of protons in line with the Brønsted–Lowry theory. A strong acid or strong base is fully ionized in an aqueous solution, while weak acids or bases are only partially ionized in an aqueous solution. Acid-base titrations measure the unknown concentration of one solution by reaction with another standard solution with a familiar concentration. The chapter also notes how indicators are typically water-soluble weak organic acids with varying colours at different pH values. It explores the alternative theory of acid-base reactions proposed by Gilbert Lewis: a Lewis acid is an electron-pair acceptor, while a Lewis base is an electron-pair donor.

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