Q:

What is a base in chemistry?

A:

According to Anne Helmenstine, Ph.D of About: Chemistry, bases are the chemical opposite of acids. Bases react with acids to form salts and water.

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Bases are substances that act as the opposite of acids; if acids are proton donors, bases are proton acceptors; if acids are electron pair acceptors, then bases are electron pair donors, etcetera. A reaction between a base and an acid is called neutralization, in which two liquid solutions (one base and one acid) combine and react to create a solution of salt and water.

Properties of bases include:

  • Bitter taste
  • Slippery to the touch
  • Change the color of indicators
  • Conduct electric current in liquid solution form

Common bases include detergents, soap, lye and household ammonia.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What happens when an acid and a base are combined?

    A:

    Mixing a base with an acid results in a chemical reaction called neutralization. The result is a perfectly balanced solution of salt and water with a pH of 7 if the acid and base are balanced properly. Depending on the bases and acids used, it can be a dangerous experiment.

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  • Q:

    What are examples of an acid-base indicator?

    A:

    Some common examples of acid-base indicators include blue grapes, which can change color from deep red in an acid to violet in a base; beets, which change from red to purplish when in a very basic substance; and blueberries, which turn red in strong acids. While these are common examples, many other things can be used as an acid-base indicator.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between an acid versus a base?

    A:

    An acid is a substance that donates a proton, and a base is a substance that accepts a proton. A base is a chemical compound that forms OH- ions when dissolved in water and reacts with acids to form salts. An acid is a chemical compound that forms H+ ions when dissolved in water and reacts with bases to form salts.

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  • Q:

    What are some of the properties of acids?

    A:

    Some of the properties of acids are that they conduct electricity when they are dissolved in water, liberate hydrogen when they react with active metals and, when combined with a base, will produce a salt and a neutralized base. Acids also have a pH which is less than 7 in an aqueous solution, and will change the color of blue litmus paper to red. In an operational sense, acids increase the concentration of H+ ions when they are dissolved in water.

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