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What is pH? Part 1
What is pH?
By: Caroline B
pH is the quantitative measure of acids and bases inside of liquid which means just that . It can be easier shown in a pH scale (below). pH stands for potential hydrogen.
The pH scale!
As you can see, the pH scale measures the acidity and alkalinity inside certain liquids. All of the citrus juices are typically an acid, water is neither an acid nor a base, and lye is a base. Soren Sorenson came up with the idea of the pH scale.
Acids and Bases
Acids and Bases play a huge part in understanding what pH is. Acids (H+) can be so strong that they could dissolve metal, so they should never be tasted or tested unless it is lemon juice or safe citrus acids. Bases (OH-) feel slippery and many of them cannot be dissolved in water. To tell if a liquid is a base or an acid, scientists will take litmus paper and put it into the liquid. If the paper turns red, it is an acid. If the paper turns blue, it is a base.
Limus Paper with Acids and Bases
Household Acids and Bases
Acids and bases are quite commonly found in a household. Many of them are daily items that we might use or even eat! Some acids that you can find in a typical household are lemons, oranges, fingernail polish remover, and soda. Some bases that you can find in a typical household are baking soda, detergent and lye.
These are some Common Household Acids and Bases
: Relating to, measuring, or measured by the quantity of something.
: pH values above 7
: A colorless, odorless, highly flammable gas
:Lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit.
"Acid and Base." Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2011. Web. 22 Sept2011. <
>. Acid and Base. (2011). In Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia. Retrieved from
Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition, s.v. "Acid and Base," accessed September 22, 2011,
. Acid and Base 2011. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Retrieved 22 September 2011, from
Morgan, Nina and Clark, John. The New Encyclopedia of Science: 3: Chemistry in Action. New York: Oxford University, 2003. Print.
The pH Scale. Prod. Discovery Education. Discovery Education, 2003. Discovery Education. Web. 23 September 2011. <
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