arsphys at cc.usu.edu
Wed Dec 22 15:31:44 EST 1999
At 07:30 PM 12/22/99 +0000, you wrote:
> Could someone tell me what the letters pH Not the
>or what pH is. I think it means the POWER of HYDROGEN but I am
>not quite sure.
>vdrake at wgn.net
You are certainly right that H refers to hydrogen, but power is
a term frequently used in chemistry, other than the
use indicating exponents (x squared = x to the second power).
I was going to suggest that the "p" might stand for potential,
partial, which are both used in referring to concentrations or
But then I read in a basic chemistry text the following:
"The p notation to indicate -log is used extensively when
with small numbers. The values of Ka, Kb, and Kw are often
in terms of pKa, pKb, and pKw."
So I guess p means "-log", which goes right along with the
of pH as the negative log of the hydrogen concentration. I know
said you didn't want the definition, but it seems the definition
answer to your question.
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