Contributed By: Kennedy B.
Date of publication: September 30, 2011

Acids and bases are related chemicals and both are important to living things and industry. Acids and bases are chemicals that can be harmful and good for you it all depends on how strong it is. Acids are found in foods and animals. Acid makes foods taste sour like there is aceticacid in vinegar and citric acid in lemons. Acids can also be found in your stomach when food is processed. Strong acids cannot be eaten or touched. These types of acids are found in fertilizer, batteries, dyes and drugs. In order to be an acid you have to contain hydrogen acids.
Bases are used for food, medicine and manufacturing. You can find bases in baking soda, milk and magnesia that often have a bitter taste. The bases that are used in manufacturing are too strong to be eaten or handled such as sodium hydroxide. In order to be a base you have to contain hydroxide ions like soap, paper, and artificial fibers. When you mix bases and acids together they can create salt water and gases depending on the types of acids and bases. The mixture of the two creates a salty taste that does not relate to the characteristics of either acids or bases. Also, the reaction between acids and bases can be very strong and create harmful gases.

Figure 1: Most acids are clear liquids
Figure 1: Most acids are clear liquids

The person that introduced the pH system
Søren Peder Lauritz Sørensen was a prestigious Danish chemist from 1909 till 1938. Søren studied at the Carlsberg Laboratory. He is the person that introduced the concept of the pH. The pH is a scale that measures acidity and basicity.

Figure 2: Søren Peder Lauritz Sorensen
Hydroxide- a chemical compound containing the hydroxyl group

Magnesia- a white substance put in some medications, also called magnesium oxide

Hydrogen- an odorless, colorless, and flammable gas

Ions- an electrically charged atom or group of atoms formed by the loss or gain of one or more electrons


Chemistry The Central Science: Brown, Theodore L. and H. Eugene LeMay and Bruce E. Bursten. Chemistry the Central Science: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice Hall, 1994.Print.

"Acid and Base." Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia. Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2011. Web. 20 Sept. 2011.

Wikipedia. “S.P.L. Sorensen.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 2011. Web. 20 September 2011.