Acids, bases and pH
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What is an acid?
A molecule that dissociates and releases hydrogen ions when dissolved in water.
What is a base?
A molecule that dissociates and releases hydroxide ions when dissolved in water.
What is a strong acid and base?
Strong acids acids and bases dissociate to release vast quantities of hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions respectively.
What is a weak acid and base?
Weak acids and bases dissociate to release relatively small quantities of hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions respectively.
What is pH?
A logarithmic scale on which the concentration of hydrogen ions is plotted.
What are buffers?
Buffers are solutions that are resistant to change in pH. They consist of a weak acid or base and the salt of its conjugate base or acid. An example is the carbonic acid and bicarbonite buffer system.
Why is the correct pH important for the human body?
Unhealthy pH levels can cause damage to molecules, particularly complicated structures. They can denature proteins and have particular implications for the respiratory system.
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