What is pH
by Winston Kao
[From French p(ouvoir) h(ydrogene) lit. hydrogen power.]
So let’s start looking at chemistry from the simplest point of view.
What is pH? It is the quantity of Hydrogen in a solution, or the concentrations of H+ (hydrogen) in a solution.
Unlike most scales which are linear scales; For example, difference between 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 all have equal distances or quantities of 10 divisions.
The pH Scale is a logarithmic scale, in other words, the difference between pH 1 & pH 2 is 10; and the difference between pH 1 & pH 3 is 100. Example: There is ten trillion times more hydrogen in pH 1 than there is in pH 14.
In the below chart it show the difference between:
14 pH and 1 pH is 10,000,000,000,000 H+ – – – – – – – – – – – – – – strong acid
14 pH and 2 pH is 1,000,000,000,000
14 pH and 3 pH is 100,000,000,000
14 pH and 4 pH is 10,000,000,000
14 pH and 5 pH is 1,000,000,000
14 pH and 6 pH is 100,000,000 – – – – – – – – – – – – – weak acid
14 pH and 7 pH is 10,000,000 – – – – – – – – an arbitrary mid point, called “neutral”
14 pH and 8 pH is 1,000,000 – – – – – – – – – – – – – weak alkaline
14 pH and 9 pH is 100,000
14 pH and 10 pH is 10,000
14 pH and 11 pH is 1,000
14 pH and 12 pH is 100
14 pH and 13 pH is 10
14 pH and 14 pH is 0- – – strong alkaline
In other words pH 1 has ten trillion times more hydrogen than pH 14. Or pH 14 has (1x 10 to negative 14 power) (1x 10 –14[WK1] ) less hydrogen.
So for a soil pH to change from a high pH of 8 down to a pH of 5 it is not a factor of 3, but because the pH Scale is a logarithmic scale, it is a factor of 1000. Therefor one has to add 1000 times more acid to bring down the pH. In other words one has to add 1000 times more H+.
Difference between 5 pH and 6 pH is 10
Difference between 5 pH and 7 pH is 100
Difference between 5 pH and 8 pH is 1000
Winston W. J. Kao 727-447-2344 or email@example.com
Copy Right Winston W. J. Kao 2005©
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