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Arrhenius acids and bases

Arrhenius definition of acids and bases.

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  • mr pink red style avatar for user doctor_luvtub
    Are there specific delineations between strong and weak acids and bases, or are they undefined?
    (46 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Just Keith
      There is a cutoff point between strong and weak acids, yes, but it is not always strictly adhered to. A strong acid is one that is more acidic than hydronium, H₂O⁺ (aq). In other words, a strong acid has a pKₐ < −1.74

      However, there are some very important acids, such as nitric acid, that are slightly less acidic than hydronium. Most chemists bend the rules a little bit and classify these as strong acids. But some prefer to call them "almost strong acids". So there is some disagreement over how strict to be. To get around this problem, you will see some sources that state strong acids have a pKₐ < 0.

      With bases, there are some problems with having a very strict cutoff between strong and weak bases. One problem is that there are quite a few important strong bases that are not very soluble in water. The other problem is that there are some hydroxides that rather than being bases are actually acids (these are called oxoacid or oxyacids).

      So, a strong base can be defined as a base that can deprotonate a very weak acid. In other words, a strong base has a pKb < 0.
      So, in summary:
      Strong acid: pKa < 0 or -1.74 (as mentioned above)
      Strong base: pKb < 0
      Almost strong acid: pKa between 0 and -1.74 (this is not accepted by all sources)
      Weak acid: pKa > 0
      Weak base: pKb > 0
      Very weak acid: pKa > 14
      Very weak base: pKb > 14
      (64 votes)
  • starky tree style avatar for user SushantShinde
    Burning of skin is an adverse effect of acid then what is the adverse effect of base on our body ?
    (12 votes)
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  • piceratops tree style avatar for user Guy Alves
    Can someone explain how acids & bases dissolve metals and organic materials?
    (7 votes)
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    • old spice man green style avatar for user Matt B
      Acids are oxidizing agents and oxidize the metal and therefore dissolve it. Bases will not dissolve metals.
      Acids and bases will not typically dissolve organics because 'like-dissolves-like' and acid/basic solutions are polar solution whereas organics are non-polar
      (10 votes)
  • hopper jumping style avatar for user Soughtout Onyeukpere
    What is the Lewis definition of acids and bases?
    (4 votes)
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    • spunky sam blue style avatar for user Ernest Zinck
      A Lewis acid is any substance that can accept a pair of nonbonding electrons.
      In other words, a Lewis acid is an electron-pair acceptor.

      A Lewis base is any substance that can donate a pair of nonbonding electrons.
      A Lewis base is therefore an electron-pair donor.
      (14 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user LOHITADITYA KONWAR
    How are protons in solution increased if protons don't move away from nucleus of atom?
    (3 votes)
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    • female robot grace style avatar for user tyersome
      You are correct, you don't get protons leaving and joining the nuclei of atoms during chemical reactions — those would be nuclear reactions.

      The "protons" Sal is talking about are hydrogen ions (H⁺) – since the nucleus of most hydrogen atoms is just a single proton he is using them interchangeably.

      While I agree this usage is imprecise it is widespread, so we just need to accept that when people are discussing (bio)chemistry if they say proton they usually mean H⁺.

      I suggest you rewatch this video and mentally substitute hydrogen ion when he says proton – it will make a lot more sense now. 😊
      (9 votes)
  • spunky sam orange style avatar for user Satish Chandra
    Is solid state pure HCl acidic in nature?
    (4 votes)
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  • spunky sam orange style avatar for user Satish Chandra
    How does aqueous HCl retain its acidic nature?
    (4 votes)
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  • duskpin tree style avatar for user Jaden P
    Is water an acid, base, or neither?
    (2 votes)
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  • female robot grace style avatar for user BADA DUM BADA DUM
    uhh...is it fine if we write hyrdroxide as HO instead of OH?
    (2 votes)
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  • duskpin seedling style avatar for user 🌸MissAllSunday🌸
    I'm so off topic right now, but if HCL dissociates (if that's the right word) into H+ and CL-, wouldn't the correct equation be something like:
    2HCL --> H2+ + CL2-
    Aren't Cl and H both diatomic elements?
    Or something... Maybe I am thinking too much :/
    (2 votes)
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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] The first, I guess you could say, modern conception of an acid and base comes from this gentleman right over here, Svante Arrhenius, and he was actually the third recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1903. And his definition of acids, under his definition of acids and bases, an acid is something that increases the concentration, increases the concentration, concentration of Hydrogen protons, and we can say protons when put in an aqueous solution, when in aqueous, aqueous solution, and that's just a water solution. And then you can imagine what a base would be. You could think, oh maybe a base is something that decreases the protons and that's one way to think about it. Or you could say, it decreases, or actually let me write this, it increases the hydroxide concentration. It increases the hydroxide concentration. when put in aqueous solution. When in aqueous, aqueous solution. So let's make that concrete. Let's look at some examples. So a strong Arrhenius acid, and actually, this would be a strong acid by other definitions as well, would be hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid, you put it in a an aqueous solution. So that's the hydrogen. You have the chlorine. You put it in an aqueous solution. You put it in an aqueous solution, it will readily disassociate. This is a, this reaction occurs, strongly favors moving from the left to right. You're going to have the chlorine strip off the two electrons in the covalent bond with the hydrogen, leaving the hydrogen with no electrons, so the hydrogen is just going to be left as a hydrogen proton. And then the chlorine, the chlorine has just nabbed that electron. It had the electrons it had before, and then it just nabbed an electron from the hydrogen, and so it now has a negative charge, and these are both in aqueous solution still. It's still, they're still both dissolved in the water. And so you see very clearly here, you put this in an aqueous solution, you're going to increase the amount of, you're going to increase the amount of hydrogen ions, the amount of protons in the solution. And we've talked about this before, you'll often see a reaction written like this, but the hydrogen protons, they just don't sit there by themselves in the water. They are going to bond with the water molecules to actually form hydronium. So another way that you'll often see this is like this. You have the hydrochloric acid, hydrochloric acid. It's in an aqueous solution, just a fancy way of saying it's dissolved in the water, and then you have the H2O. You have the water molecules, H2O, and you'll sometimes see written, okay, it's in its liquid form, and it's going to yield. Instead of just saying that you have a hydrogen ion right over here, you'll say, "Okay, that thing, "the hydrogen is actually gonna get bonded "to a water molecule." And so what you're gonna be left with is actually H3O. Now this thing, this was a water molecule, and all it got was a hydrogen ion. All that is is a proton. It didn't come with any electrons, so now this is going to have a positive charge. It's going to have a positive charge, and we could now say that this is going to be in an aqueous solution, hydronium is going to be in an aqueous solution, and you're going to have plus, now you're going to still have the chloride ion, or it's a negative ion, so we call it an anion. Chloride, chloride anion, and this is still in an aqueous solution. It is dissolved in water, and remember all that happened here is that the chlorine here took all of the electrons, leaving hydrogen with none. Then that hydrogen proton gets nabbed by a water molecule and becomes hydronium. So even by this definition you might say it increases the concentration of hydrogen protons. You could say it increase the concentration of hydronium, of hydronium right over here. Hydronium ions. So that makes, by the Arrhenius definition, that makes hydrochloric acid a strong acid. That makes it a strong acid. Now what would be a strong base by the Arrhenius definition of acids and bases? Well one would be sodium hydroxide. So let me write that down, so if I have sodium hydroxide, sodium Na, that's the sodium, and then I have the hydroxide. That's an oxygen bonded to a hydrogen. So that's sodium hydroxide, and actually if you wanted to see what this molecule looked like you have a oxygen having a covalent bond to a hydrogen. Let me do these in different colors. Oxygen has a covalent bond to a hydrogen. to a hydrogen right over here. And it actually has three alone pairs. It actually has three alone pairs right over here. It's actually nabbed the electron from, from somebody some place, and so it's going to have a negative charge. It is going to have a negative charge. Actually I could write it both, let me just write it like that. It has a negative charge, and then you have a sodium ion that has lost its electron somehow. So you have a sodium ion that has lost an electron somehow, so it has a positive charge, and for all we know, it could have lost the electron to the oxygen right over here, making the oxygen negative and making the sodium positive, and so this is now positive, this is negative, they're going to be attracted to each other, and they form an ionic bond, so sodium hydroxide, they have an ionic bond because the sodium is actually positive, and the hydroxide part right over here. That is negative, and that's what draws them together, but anyway, you put this in an aqueous solution. You throw some sodium hydroxide into an aqueous solution, it will disassociate into, into sodium with its positive charge, the sodium ions, and actually you know the sodium ion is still part of this. That's what makes it attracted to the hydroxide anion, but it's still going to be in an aqueous solution, and then you're going to have the hydroxide. You're going to have the hydroxide anion, so essentially this thing just disassociates. This has a negative charge, and it's still going to be dissolved in the water, so aqueous solution. So you throw sodium hydroxide in water, it's going to increase the concentration. It's going to increase the concentration of hydroxide in the water. It's going to increase the hydroxide concentration, and so by the Arrhenius definition of acids and bases, this would be a strong Arrhenius base. This would be a strong, a strong base by the Arrhenius definition. Now, and I encourage you to look at that relative to the other definitions, the Bronsted-Lowry definition of acids and bases and the Lewis definition of acids and bases, and see how you would think about categorizing things.