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Chemistry LibreTexts

10: Acids and Bases

Many of us are familiar with the group of chemicals called acids. But do you know what it takes for a compound to be an acid? Actually, there are several different definitions of acid that chemistry uses, and each definition is appropriate under different circumstances. Less familiar—but just as important to chemistry and ultimately to us—is the group of chemicals known as bases. Both acids and bases are important enough that we devote an entire chapter to them—their properties and their reactions.

  • 10.1: Arrhenius Definition of Acids and Bases
    Arrhenius acid: a compound that increases the concentration of hydrogen ion (H+) in aqueous solution; Arrhenius base: a compound that increases the concentration of hydroxide ion (OH−) in aqueous solution. the reaction of an acid and a base
  • 10.2: Brønsted-Lowry Definition of Acids and Bases
    A Brønsted-Lowry acid is a proton donor, and a Brønsted-Lowry base is a proton acceptor. Brønsted-Lowry acid-base reactions are essentially proton transfer reactions.
  • 10.3: Water - Both an Acid and a Base
    Water molecules can act as both an acid and a base, depending on the conditions.
  • 10.4: The Strengths of Acids and Bases
    Acids and bases can be strong or weak depending on the extent of ionization in solution. Most chemical reactions reach equilibrium at which point there is no net change. The pH scale is used to succinctly communicate the acidity or basicity of a solution.
  • 10.5: Buffers
    A buffer is a solution that resists sudden changes in pH.
  • 10.E: Acids and Bases (Exercises)
    Problems and select solutions to the chapter.
  • 10.S: Acids and Bases (Summary)
    To ensure that you understand the material in this chapter, you should review the meanings of the bold terms in the following summary and ask yourself how they relate to the topics in the chapter.