Acids, bases, and salts are three classes of compounds that form ions in water solutions. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:
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Explain that strong acids (and bases) fully dissociate and that weak acids (and bases) partially dissociate.
Define pH as the negative of the logarithm of the hydrogen (hydronium) ion concentration, and calculate pH from concentration data.
Illustrate and explain the pH scale to characterize acid and base solutions: Neutral solutions have pH 7, acids are less than 7, and bases are greater than 7.
Describe the observable properties of acids, bases, and salt solutions.
Explain the Arrhenius theory of acids and bases: An acid donates hydrogen ions (hydronium) and a base donates hydroxide ions to a water solution.