Acid Base Solutions: Concentration and Strength Remote Lab
(This lesson is designed for a student working remotely.)
This lab uses the Acid Base Solutions simulation from PhET Interactive Simulations at University of Colorado Boulder, under the CC-BY 4.0 license.
Learning goals: Students will be able to
- Generate or interpret molecular representations (words and/or pictures) for acid or base solutions
- Provide or use representations of the relative amounts of particles in acid or base solutions to estimate strength and/or concentration
- Use common tools (pH meter, conductivity, pH paper) of acid or base solutions to estimate strength and/or concentration
Lab: Visualizing acid strength, concentration, and pH
- Explore Acid Base Solutions for a few minutes using the different ways we think about solutions: the molecular , pH, conductivity, and bar graphs. Then, answer these questions while using the simulation more.
- For an acid, what happens to the molecule when it is in a water solution?
- What is different about what happens to a weak acid molecule and what happens to a strong acid molecule?
- How do the representations of a weak acid reaction differ from a strong one?
- If you increase the concentration of an acid, what changes in both types of acids?
- Look at these images used in the simulation to depict a strong acid solution:
Now, use the simulation to help you answer these questions. You may want to insert images captured from the simulation to help your explanations.
- How should the Key change for a weak acid?
- How would the images change for a weak acid solution of the same concentration? Draw the images as well as describing them in words.
- Draw the images for a weak acid and a strong acid solution of the greater concentration? Make any notes that might help you remember.
- Write the chemical reactions for a weak acid and a strong acid.
- Is there one type of representation that might be the best one for you to remember information about weak and strong acids? Make any notes that might help you remember how to compare/contrast the two types.
- Repeat parts A and B for base solutions.
Test Your Understanding: Scientists often use a variety of explanations and images to think. Apply your understanding from the simulation to these questions that look like typical test questions.
Water molecules are not shown. Each beaker contains the same volume of solution;
Key: = HA (unreacted acid) = A– = H+ (or H3O+)
1a.Which might be the label on Beaker C?
A. 0.01 M HC2H3O2 B. 0.1 M HC2H3O2 C. 0.3 M HC2H3O2 D. 0.01 M HCl E. 0.3 M HCl
1b. Which beaker would have the lowest pH? A B C D
1c. Explain your reasoning for both questions:
- You have two beakers. One beaker contains 100 mL of NaOH (a strong base); the other contains 100 mL of aqueous Na3PO4 (a weak base). You test the pH of each solution. Which of the following statements is true?
- The Na3PO4 has a higher pH because it has more sodium ions than NaOH.
- It is possible for the solutions in each beaker to have the same pH.
- If the pH of the NaOH solution is 12.00, the pH of the Na3PO4 solution has to be greater than 12.00.
- If the pH of the NaOH solution is 12.00, the pH of the Na3PO4 solution has to be less than 12.00.
Explain your reasoning for your choice: