How does a chemical indicator work?

Answer

A chemical indicator is clearly visible and the reaction is usually sudden. It is a change in the taste, smell, and/or color. Indicating that two chemicals have been combined and there is a definite reaction. pH is common in chemical indicators. The pH scale ranges from 0-14. If the pH balance is 7.0 it is a neutral solution. If the pH is above 7.0 it is basic or alkaline; below 7.0 it is considered to be acidic. For example, the pigment of red cabbage is intensified at a basic pH level and it loses its intensity at low or acidic pH level. This is an example of a chemical indicator.

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1 Additional Answer
A chemical acid base indicator works by changing color when the pH changes. The indicator is not part of the main reaction, but is added to show when the main reaction is done or when the pH of the solution changes. An indicator is a substance that changes color at different pH levels.
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