General Chemistry: Principles and Modern Applications (10th Edition)

Published by Pearson Prentice Hal
ISBN 10: 0132064529
ISBN 13: 978-0-13206-452-1

Chapter 16 - Acids and Bases - 16-2 Concept Assessment - Page 705: 16-2


- Because the pH and pOH values would be, almost always, negative, that could make the calculations a little bit harder. - If we look into the approximate value of $K_w (25 ^{\circ}C)$: $10^{-14}$, we will see that this value is easily represented by a logarithm with base = 10, if compared to a natural one ($ln$), where the is base = "e". Besides that, the "e" is chosen in other chemistry studies, because the equations are related to integration/derivation. If it doesn't have this origin, the logarithm that is the easiest to work with is the one with base 10.

Work Step by Step

- Concentrations ($M$) are, most of the time, represented by number that are lower than 1. All the logarithms have this propriety that, for numbers between 1 and 0, the result is negative. So, when we put a "-" in front of "$log[H^+]$", we are making the calculations easier, by turning it to positive again. - Using the base 10, for example, we can say that acidic solutions have a pH < 7. But, if we used "e" as the base, we would say that: acidic solutions have a pH < 16.18809565, so it is clearly easier to use the base 10.
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