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Key Idea 4
Strengths of Acids and Bases
Concept Question: How do chemists measure and express the strengths of acids and bases? How can solutions of acids and bases of different strengths be explained at the molecular level?

Acids are used in a wide variety of applications. They are used as flavorings and preservatives in many foods and beverages, but they are also used to clean bricks and ceramics and even to etch glass. Bases have a similarly wide range of uses; people eat bases (such as baking soda) and also use them to clean out their drainpipes.

acids and bases

What enables these groups of supposedly similar compounds to be used for such a wide variety of purposes?