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The Properties of Acids

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Acids and Bases

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The Properties of Acids

Physical Science

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Learners conduct tests to determine common properties of acids.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain acids produce hydrogen ions in aqueous solutions.
  • Identify corrosion of metal as a property of an acid.
  • Identify a reaction with carbonate as a property of an acid.

Everything You'll Have Covered

One of the most common definitions of an acid is that it is a substance that increases the amount of hydrogen ions in an aqueous solution. While some acids are stronger than others, most are hard to recognize in a solution if it is not labeled. In order to identify whether or not a substance is an acid, laboratory tests are conducted, which will result in a reaction if an acid is present.

One of these tests is the reaction with litmus paper. There are two common types of litmus paper: blue and red. Both these papers work the same way, each will turn blue in the presence of a base, and red in the presence of an acid. To test the solution using litmus paper, all one needs to do is place a drop on the paper. In the presence of an acid, regardless of strength, the red paper will remain red, and the blue will turn red.

A second common test is to see if the acid will react in the presence of a base. In this case, carbonate is used for the base. When the acid and the base come into contact, a neutralization reaction occurs, and carbon dioxide is released as a gas. When the gas is released, the solid carbonate appears to fizz, indicating the reaction has occurred. The third test that is completed is placing the acid on a metal, which then causes corrosion or a change in color.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts States of matter
Course Physical Science
Type of Tutorial Experiment
Key Vocabulary acidic solutions, carbonate, corrosion