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PH measures the acidity or basicity of liquid solutions

PH measures the acidity or basicity of liquid solutions

The term is used in chemistry, biology, and agronomy. PH translates the values of the concentration of the hydrogen ion into numbers between 0 and 14.

  • Pure water corresponds to a pH of 7, which is neutral (neither acidic nor alkaline). 
  • A pH less than 7 is considered acidic.
  • A pH greater than 7 is considered basic or alkaline.


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Ways to take a pH measurement

Danish biochemist S.P.L Sorensen used the measurement to represent the hydrogen ion concentration, expressed in equivalents per litre of an aqueous solution: pH = −log[H+]

The pH can be read with a less accurate litmus paper or with indicator dyes. However, it is usually measured with a pH meter that consists of a voltmeter attached to a pH-responsive electrode (usually mercury-mercurous chloride electrode) and a reference electrode (usually glass that are immersed in a solution. The voltmeter measures the potential difference between the glass and reference electrodes


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PH is most important in agriculture

In agriculture, the pH of the soil shows what crops will grow easily in the soil and what adjustments are needed to adapt it for growing other crops.

Acidic soils are often considered infertile as the solubility of aluminium and manganese also increase with acidity. However, conifers and members of the family Ericaceae, such as blueberries, prefer acidic soils. Acidic soil can be neutralized by treating it with lime.


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