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A theoretical framework of the pH concept at high school Muwanga-Zake, J. W. F. (B.Sc., B.Ed., M.Sc., M.Ed., PhD, P.G.C.E., P.G.D.E.

) Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME), University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban. South Africa. Cell: (027) 0 730632051 Office: (027) 0 31 2603418 CASME, University of KwaZulu Natal, P O Box 10607, Ashwood 3605. Republic of South Africa Key words: Negative pH values; Super Acids; Weaknesses of the Lowry-Brnsted model ABSTRACT Literature shows that the concept of pH face conceptual challenges, especially outside the 0-14 range that it requires further debate. The concern of this discussion is the aspects of pH taught at school. I suggest how best to teach pH in such a way that pH values outside the normal 0 14 range are understood and speculate on what negative pH values could mean. The discussion does NOT provide an authoritative understanding of pH, that chemistry gurus might have. INTRODUCTION Although technology has eased the rigours of measurements, a conceptual understanding of pH is still vital to improve conceptual understanding and technology further. Conceptual problems emanate from cases where the concentration of hydronium ions is beyond the range of 100 10-14 mol.dm-3, for which we have to account for pH values of less than 0 or greater than 14. For example, 1.5 Molar acids would yield a pH of 0.17 assuming complete dissociation. I am particularly concerned with situations when the pH is less than 0 because 1 Molar or greater acid concentrations are common in school laboratories. In order to gain entry into conceptual understanding for learners I propose that the teacher covers the following topics first: Chemical bonding, with focus on the uniqueness of hydrogen bonds, especially in water The structure and properties of the water molecule A mention of energies involved in the formation or dissociation of acids in water (Heat of Dilution) Chemical equilibrium, and the meaning of equilibrium constants Logarithms, especially in Base 10 On addition, I think the following knowledge is important in introducing a lesson on pH. THE MEANING OF K Important: Most constants referred to in chemistry such as Kc, Kw, Ka, and Kb are temperaturedependent, and often are assumed to be quoted at 25 C, i.e. average room temperature t t The equilibrium constant K defines the ratio of the concentrations of the products (e.g. dissociated ions) and the reactants (e.g. un-dissociated molecules). For example, the dissociation constant K of a molecule HA is given as K =

[H ][A ] ; brackets denote concentration. K apparently originated


+

[HA]

from: Arrheniuss theory that the molecule of an electrolyte can give rise to two or more electrically charged atoms or ions; and The Law of Mass Action (by two Norwegians, Gulberg & Waage), that if the dissociation happens in a solvent, at saturation, we can call the constant, a solubility constant. The dissociation process might be endothermic or exothermic.

It should also be noted that an equilibrium sign does not apply to irreversible reactions, such as where a gas is liberated and lost to the environment. Second, it is wrong to represent equilibrium by two unequal arrows pointing in opposite directions, as often seen in some textbooks. This mistake, often wrongly applied to show which direction of the equilibrium is favoured, should be avoided. We have to differentiate
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between the quantities yielded (perhaps as a result of a change in conditions surrounding the equilibrium i.e. Le Chateliers principle), and the state of dynamic equilibrium. At equilibrium, the number of products being formed is exactly equal to the number being broken down to re-form reactants. That is, the RATE of the forward reaction is exactly equal to the rate of the reverse reaction. Therefore, the arrows must be equal to indicate that the forward rate equals the reverse rate. For example, a weak acid (HA) dissociates reversibly in water: WATER Pure water Consider 1000 ml of water with a density of 1.00 g/ml - this 1.00 litre (1000 ml or 1 dm.3) would weigh 1000 grams. This mass divided by the molecular mass of water (18.0152 g/mol) gives 55.5 moles. The "molarity" of this water would then be 55.5 mol / litre or 55.5 M. Autoprotolysis of pure water The following equation describes the reaction of water with itself (called autoprotolysis): H2O + H2O <==> H3O+ + OH. The equilibrium constant for this reaction is written as follows:

K=

[H O ][OH ]
+

[H 2 O][H 2 O]

However, in pure liquid water, [H2O] is a constant, and together with K produces Kc. Thus, Kc = [H3O+] [OH]. This constant Kc, also known as Kw, is called the water autoprotolysis constant or water autoionization constant. It is assumed to obtain in dilute solutions, and may not strictly apply to concentrated solutions. Many factors such as temperature and the nature of solute would affect this equilibrium. For example, while Kw has been shown to be 1.011 x 1014 at 25 C (generally, a value of 1.00 x 1014 is used), Kw = 10-12.3 at 100 C. The equation above shows that concentrations of H3O+ and OH are in the molar ratio of one-to-one, and so [H3O+] = [OH]. Therefore, [H3O+] and [OH] = Kw, which is 10-7 M in pure water at 250C. This leads to important models of acids and bases, not least the pH scale, since most acids and bases express their properties when they are dissolved in water. The implication of [H3O+][OH-] = 10-14 at 250C Note that [H3O+][OH-] = 10-14 at 250C, and so [H3O+] = 10-7 in pure water implies that for every one H3O+, there are 10,000,000 (i.e. 107) un-dissociated water molecules at 250C. The amount of H3O+ increases by adding acidic compounds. Adding an alkaline compound increases OH-. The range of both [H3O+], and [OH-] is between 100 and 10-14 at 250C. That is, it is not possible to have, for example, a range of 1020 to 10-34 for [H3O+], and [OH-] even though 1020 x 10-34 = 10-14. ACIDS AND BASES Definitions evolve and change over time. There were definitions of acids and bases before the current popular ones such as: 1. Lavoisier (1776) an acid is an oxide of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur and the halogens (e.g., SO3 + H2O forms H2SO4) 2. Liebig (1838) an acid is a compound in which the hydrogen can be replaced by a metal (e.g., 2HCl + Zn gives ZnCl2 + H2) 3. Acid According to Park (1998), the word acid comes from the Latin word acere, which means 'sour'. All acids taste sour. Well known are vinegar, sour milk, lemon juice, aspirin (acetosallicylic acid). Alkaline/base The word alkaline could be from the Arabic al-qily, which means, 'to roast in a pan" or "the calcinated ashes of plants. The word "base" might come from bassus, which is Latin for low. There are numerous definitions of acids and bases, most of which relate with water solutions. Why bases are slippery between our fingers! Bases feel slippery, sometimes people say soapy. This is because they dissolve the fatty acids and oils from your skin and this cuts down on the friction between your fingers as you rub them together. In essence, the base is making soap out of you, because the preparation of soap is an alkali plus a lipid.
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Arrhenius A Swedish chemist, Svante August Arrhenius (1859-1927), defined an acid as a substance, which releases hydrogen ions in solution, and a base as a substance, which forms hydroxyl ions. Wilhelm Ostwald followed up this idea and calculated the dissociation constants Ka, which is a measure of an acid's strength, starting with water as a neutral compund. Thus, the Arrhenius-Ostwald definition is based upon the Autoprotolysis of water. In 1904, H. Friedenthal recommended that the hydrogen and hydroxyl ion concentration be used to characterize solutions, since the [OH-] = 10-14 [H3O+]. Now, it is widely argued that hydrogen ions cannot exist in water because hydrogen ions are actually protons, and so have a high electric field intensity because of their small size. Furthermore, bases such as NH3 that do not have the OH- group are excluded from Arrheniuss definition. Lowry and Brnsted In 1923, Johannes Nicolaus Brnsted (Denmark) and Thomas Martin Lowry (England) published essentially the same theory about how acids and bases independently of one another, so both names have been used for the theory name. Cited in Hawkes (1992) Brnsted: " acids and bases are substances that are capable of splitting off or taking up hydrogen ions, respectively." Here is a more recent way to say the same thing: An acid is a substance from which a proton can be obtained. A base is a substance that can remove a proton from an acid. T. M. Lowry, in his paper "The Uniqueness of Hydrogen" Chemistry, and Industry 42 (19 January 1923) pp. 43-47, argued: "It is a remarkable fact that strong acidity is apparently developed only in mixtures and never in pure compounds'. For example, pure H2SO4 is weak and hydrogen chloride only becomes an acid when mixed with water. This can be explained by the extreme reluctance of a hydrogen nucleus to lead an isolated existence. It seems that plenty of water is needed to enable the release of all protons and this is probably why the Lowry- Brnsted seems to have problems with concentrated acids. Note: 1. The difference between Lowry and Brnsted; - Brnsted used H+, but Lowry, used the H3O+ that is commonly used today. 2. A substance acts as an acid or base in relation to a solvent used because there are a variety of solvents in which a transfer of protons can happen. The acid increases the cationic species (hydrogen ions) natural to the solvent. For enrichment, consider dissolving acetic acid in water, and then in sulphuric acid, and in alcohol.. 3. With regard to Lowry - Brnsted, acidity is really a measure of how strong the water molecule is, compared to the base in the acid molecule (H-Base). Note that Energy is required to break the bond between the Hydrogen proton and the base in the acid Energy is probably released from the bonding between the Hydrogen protons with a water molecule. The balance between these energies plays a role in determining whether an acid dissociates or not, whether the acid is strong or weak, and whether the dissolution process would be endothermic or exothermic. In conclusion, we can take an acid to be a substance in which hydronium ions are more concentrated than hydroxyl ions and a base as a substance in which the hydroxyl ions are more concentrated than hydronium ions. IT IS NOT EXACTLY CORRECT TO SAY THAT ACIDS "DONATE PROTONS" It is unlikely that acids simply donate protons since those protons have to be broken off a base i.e., the base holds on its dear proton. Hence, the formation of acids requires energy. Bases have different affinities for protons. A base has to be stronger than the one in the acid to pull off the proton from the acid. Therefore, the acid molecule does not "give" or "donate" as stated for example in Brink & Jones (1979; 160), and Toon & Ellis (1973: 475). Bases that have a greater desire for protons take possession of the proton by force, except in some rare cases where complex ions repulse protons. I have therefore replaced 'donor' by 'loser' in this paper. STRENGTH OF ACIDS AND BASES When an acid is added, the water molecule acts as a base and pulls the proton from the acid molecule. The acid is strong when the base in it is weaker than the water molecule and the acid is weak when the base in it is stronger than the water molecule.
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Strong acids and bases The key point is that strong means 100% ionised and K is extremely high that talking of equilibrium of strong acids and bases in dilute solutions does not make much sense. The water molecule is stronger than the base in strong acids. It is assumed that all the acid dissociates, and all its protons are in solution. Examples of strong acids in schools include Hydrochloric acid, Sulphuric acid, and Nitric acid. The water molecule is stronger than the acid in the base. When a base is added to water, the water molecule acts as an acid. The base molecule pulls the hydrogen proton from water, leaving behind the OH- behind. There are almost no un-dissociated base molecules in solutions of strong bases. Strong bases at school include Sodium hydroxide and Ammonium Hydroxide.

Weak acids and bases The K value is often less than 1 in weak acids and bases. With weak acids and bases, we can talk of equilibrium because the acids or bases partially dissociate. This is because water cannot grab all the protons from such acids or all the hydroxyl ions from bases. Consequently, for acids, a measurement of [H+] does not give the total amount of hydrogen ions available because some of the hydrogen remains associated with bases in acid molecules. However, if a weak acid is titrated against a dilute base, the undissociated molecules progressively dissociate and eventually the total hydrogen ion concentration can be found. This is why the "titratable acid" is distinguished from the actual acidity (pH). With strong acids, the titratable acid and acidity are assumed the same. K values of polyprotic acids While monoprotic acids release only one proton per acid molecule, polyprotic acids are able to lose more than one proton per acid molecule. A diprotic acid (here symbolized by H2A) can undergo one or two dissociations depending on the pH. Each dissociation has its own dissociation constant, Ka1 and Ka2. H2A(aq) + H2O(l) H3O+(aq) + HA(aq) Ka1: and HA(aq) + H2O(l) H3O+(aq) + A2(aq) Ka2 The first dissociation constant is typically greater than the second; i.e., Ka1 > Ka2 , the reason being that the base in the acid molecule hangs on to the protons left more strongly. For example, sulphuric acid (H2SO4) can lose one proton to form the bisulphate anion (HSO4), for which Ka1 is very large; then it can lose a second proton to form the sulphate anion (SO42), wherein the Ka2 is intermediate strength. Conjugate Acid-Base Pairs Let's look at the reaction of NH3 and H2O again: The reverse of this reaction is: NH4+ (1) NH3 + H2O NH4+ + OH-

NH3 + H2O (2) NH4 + OHIn this case, acts as an acid, which loses a proton to OH-. OH- acts as a base. An acid and a base that are related by the gain and loss of a proton are called a conjugate acid-base pair. For example, NH4+ is the conjugate acid of NH3, and NH3 is the conjugate base of NH4+. Every acid has associated with it a conjugate base. Likewise, every base has associated with it a conjugate acid. Conjugate Acid-base Pairs tend towards weaker acids and bases Take the example: HCl + H2O <===> H3O+ + Cl-. In general, in acid-base reactions such as this, equilibrium favours the production of the weaker acid (e.g. H3O+) and base (e.g. Cl). Put simply, the acid produced has a stronger base than that in the acid, which lost the proton (i.e. H2O base is stronger than Cl). We may in fact consider acid-base reactions as a competition in which bases fight for protons. Amphoteric substances An Amphoteric substance can behave as an acid or as a base depending upon the surroundings, especially the pH. For example, aluminium hydroxide reacts with acids as a base: Al(OH)3 + 3H+ Al(OH)3 + 2OHWHAT IS pH? Origins of the symbol pH There are varied claims about the origins of the symbol pH. Wikipedia (at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH) gives various sources. It states that this concept was introduced in 1909 by the Danish chemist Sren Srensen as a convenient way of expressing acidity. pH purportedly means "pondus hydrogenii" in Latin. Other sources attribute the name to the French term pouvoir hydrogne, while in English, pH can stand for
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Al3+ + 3 H2O and as a base with acids; and in reaction with bases it will act as an acid AlO2- + H2O

"power of hydrogen," or "potential of hydrogen." While Srensen used to write PH, the Compact Oxford English Dictionary states that the modern notation 'pH' was first adopted in 1920 by W. M. Clark (inventor of the Clark oxygen electrode) for typographical convenience, and claims that the "p" stands for the German word for "power", potenz, so pH is an abbreviation for "power of hydrogen". Thus, "p-Functions" have also been adopted for other concentrations. For example, "pCa = 5.0" means a concentration of calcium ions equal to 10-5 M. Definition The IUPAC definition IUPAC endorsed a pH scale based on comparison with a standard buffer of known pH using electrochemical measurements. IUPAC restricted the pH range to dilute aqueous solutions of less than 101 mol.dm3: 2<pH<12. pH is the measure of acidity From the above: HA + H2O concentration: H3O+ + A-. Rearranging the equation to isolate the hydrogen ion

K=
and H 3 O

[H O ][A ]
+

[HA][H 2 O]

][A ] = K [HA][H O]
2
+

[H O ] = K [HA][H O] [A ]
+ 2 3

Assuming that [H2O] is pure and in excess, and therefore constant, it has a value 1 Therefore,

[H O ] = K[[AHA] ]
3

Log [H3O+] = log K + log [HA] log [A-];

pH = log10

1 H 3O +

= log10 1 log H 3O + = 0 log10 H 3 O + = log10 H 3 O +

= log10 A log10 [K ] log10 [HA]


So, the pH inherently assumes the presence of water in excess, and the factor 10-14 within K, which is the dissociation constant of an acid such as HA. Important: learners find problems with calculating the [H3O+] given the pH; the [H3O+] is an antilog of the pH but requires practice. Why use logarithms? The pH scale is easier to write and to compare than actual concentrations; i.e., the pH range from 0 to 14 is actually a [H3O+] concentration range of 1.0 M (100 M) to 0.00000000000001 M. (10-14 M.) Why a scale a range of 0 to 14? The pH scale based on Lowry- Brnsted model is minimised to 0 to 14 because it assumes the presence of excess water, whose ionic product is 10-14. Why the minus against the log? Without the minus, i.e., if we used log [H3O], the pH scale would be from 0 to 14; what makes this pH scale 0 to +14, is the application of the minus sign against the logarithm, i.e., -log [H3O].

[ ]

]
By definition, pH = -log [H3O+].

PROBLEMS WITH THE LOWRY- BRNSTED THEORY This theory assumes a solvent that easily participates in hydrogen ion transfers such as water, but fails to explain acid base behaviour in aprotic solvents (solvents that do easily participate in transferring hydrogen ions such as benzene). A more general theory, such as the Lewis Theory of Acids and Bases explains how such solvents might work.
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WHAT DO YOU MEAN pH = -1? A pH = -1 implies that [H3O+] = 10 M or 101 moles/dm3. Any concentration of H3O+ (i.e. [H3O+], and not of the acid molecules) greater than 1M would translate into a pH that is < 0; i.e. would be negative. A 12M H2SO4 would have a pH of 1.08 and then 1.38, 11M HCl would have a pH of 1.04, etc. However, such pH values might be meaningless in the Lowry- Brnsted model. What does this argument say about water? Water acts as a base when an acid is introduced into it, and water has to be stronger than the base in the acid to pull the proton away from the acid, if a substance is to fit the definition of a Lowry- Brnsted acid. For example, the pull that water exerts upon the proton in HCl, is stronger than the pull between the Hydrogen ion (proton) and the Chloride ion (base). What is not clear though is how many water molecules surround or pull the Hydrogen ion. Heat of Dilution of Acids tables show that the overall process of acid dilution is generally exothermic, but, apparently, as long as there are enough water molecules to pull those protons. Once the proton has been torn off the acid molecule, it has a very high electrical field intensity (because it is very small) that forces it into water molecules. It seems that a lot of water molecules are needed to break away H+ ions from acid molecules given that in pure water, every H+ mole is associated with 107 moles of water. We earlier established that 1 mole of H3O+ is accommodated by 55.5 moles of water molecules. Or 1 molecule of H3O+ requires 55.5 x 6 x 1023 molecules of water in a Molar solution of an acid. Hence the capacity of water to tear off and accommodate acidity (H3O+ ions) is limited. Let us take a 2M acid molecules - in the Lowry-Bronsted model, it can only release 1M of H3O+ ions in 1 dm3 and beyond that a solution cannot take anymore H3O+ ions or more protons because the LowryBronsted pH cannot be negative. A 2M acid is not at liberty to release more than 1 mole of its hydrogen ions into a dm3. Put differently, the Lowry-Bronsted model tells us that no more H3O+ ions can be formed beyond [H3O+] = 1M or 100 moles/dm3 at 250C. Another limitation could be energy requirements, since water molecules must find energy to pull the hydrogen ions away from the bases in the acid. Any other H3O+ ion introduced increases the Molarity beyond 1M (i.e., beyond 100M) and would lower internal energy of the solution further. These un dissociated H+ ions are however accessible, firstly because water and acids mix in all proportions. The H+ ions are accessible and measurable by titration because the base introduces more water as well as basic ions. This implies that the extra water liberates more H+ ions from the acid molecules to form a surplus of H3O+ beyond [H3O+] = 1M or 100 moles/dm these lower the pH to negative values. Thus, a negative pH becomes meaningless to the Lowry - Brnsted model since it contradicts itself to the possibility that [H3O+] can exceed 100M, at 250C, but is measurable. THE CONCEPT OF SUPER ACIDS With suitable equipment, we can prepare pure acids with no water in them (and would not be acids by the Lowry - Brnsted model because they do not have H3O+). Such acids would have a pH < 0 because every drop of water introduced is consumed and are called super acids (Cotton, Wilkinson, & Gaus, 1987: 221). Super acids are used to provide protons, and are believed to force substances to accept protons. Similarly, there are super bases. According to Cotton, Wilkinson, & Gaus (1987: 221), super acids are necessarily non aqueous since the acidity of any aqueous system is limited by the fact that the strongest acid that can exist in the presence of water is H3O+. In that system, a stronger acid than H3O+ loses its proton to H2O to form more of H3O+. The acidity scale goes beyond the normal pH scale, and uses the Hammett acidity function: H0 = pkBH+ - log [BH+]/[B], where B is the base and BH+ is its protonated form. pKBH+ is log K for the dissociation of BH+. By using bases with very negative pKBH+ values, the H0 scale may be extended to negative values. The H0 scale becomes identical to the pH scale in dilute aqueous solution. On this scale, pure H2SO4 (1012 M) has a H0 value of 12 (instead of the LowryBrnsted value of 1.08), and for Oleum, about H0 = 15, etc. Take note that the Hammett acidity function clearly avoids water in its equation. In other cases, pH has been defined as pH = -log aH+ where aH+ is the hydrogen ion activity. In solutions that contain other ions and under varied conditions, activity and concentration are not the same. The activity indicates the hydrogen ions that are active, rather than the true concentration; it accounts for the fact that other ions and conditions surrounding the hydrogen ions might shield them and affect their ability to participate in chemical reactions.

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How about other factors? We have already seen that temperature is a factor. Other conditions include substances in solution, the nature of solvent, as well as pressure. These factors are likely to be even more effective in acids that can dissociate or evaporate to form gases such as hydrogen chloride. Thus, two solutions with the same amount of hydrogen could have different amounts of hydrogen ions (protons) available, and therefore different pH values. Similar hydrogen ion (proton) concentrations would register different pH values in different solvents because the neutral pH is different for each solvent. For example, the concentration of hydrogen ions in pure ethanol is about 1.58 10-10 M, so ethanol is neutral at pH 9.8. A solution with a pH of 8 would be considered acidic in ethanol, but basic in water! Think about a solution of water in an acid. Again, we see a limitation to the application of the pH scale based on the Lowry- Brnsted theory. ACIDITY IS NOT LIMITED TO TRANSFER OF HYDROGEN IONS Introduction There are other definitions of acids and bases that are often never mentioned in school curricula. This section is therefore enrichment for a school science teacher Lewis Theory of Acids and Bases acidity as a transfer of charges In 1923, an American Gilbert Newton Lewis (1875-1946) argued that acids and bases are not tied to water or restricted to transfer of protons (i.e., to protic,(lso known as protolytic, protonic reactions). Lewis suggested that it is the charges that move between acids and bases: Well, it is true that a proton is a positive charge and, in fact, Lowry mentioned a transfer of H+ between octets in protic reactions. However, Lewis is concerned with electron transfer: an acid is an electron-pair acceptor, and a base is an electronpair loser. (e.g., BF3 acid + CH3N base CH3N:BF3) This definition bears similarity with the NaCl) Usanovich model (1939) (e.g., Na base+ Cl acid

Firstly, the Lewis model bears similarity with Lowry- Brnsted model in terms of charge. The LowryBrnsted acid also gets its oxidation number reduced by losing a proton (H+) and the Lowry- Brnsted base gets its oxidation state increased by stealing a proton. Secondly, the Lewis definition bears resemblance with definitions of a reducing agent and an oxidising agent respectively. The difference is that Lewiss definition applies to an un-shared pair of electrons in the outer energy level. Check out Lewis hard and soft acids and bases for enrichment. Lux-Flood definition of acids and bases. Derived in 1939, the Lux-Flood model regards an acid as an oxide (O2-) acceptor and a base as an oxide (O2-) loser. Again, we can see a similarity with Lewis's notion of charge transfer. By an acid accepting (O2-), it is actually accepting an extra pair of electrons. This is an important definition in geological chemistry. IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHING/LEARNING ABOUT pH Problems There are often problems with demonstrating or proving concepts in a school environment. I am not even sure whether negative pH should be taught at all, although I think that knowledge improves the conceptual understanding of pH. Knowledge about other ways of measuring acidity suffers from analysis based in the Lowry- Brnsted model. Yet, one way of challenging or scrutinising the Lowry- Brnsted model might be outside the Lowry- Brnsted model itself, especially with regard to the limitations and constraints that the Lowry- Brnsted model places upon the pH. A need to investigate We should develop a culture of consulting widely and of opening up to new conceptual frameworks that challenge our current schemas. School curricula often leave out fundamental assumptions that surround important concepts. The pH concept is an example in this regard. However, rather than waiting for some authority to provide already shifted knowledge, teachers should try to test some claims in a school laboratory or through logical but open discussions with their colleagues and learners. What should we teach and how? Traditionally, we tend to teach Arrheniuss definition first. However, learners seem to easily confuse Arrheniuss definitions with the more acceptable Brnsted-Lowry definitions. Hawkes (1992) argues It is inherent in human nature that we accept what we are told first and relinquish or change it with difficult. The Brnsted-Lowry approach should be presented first, because it is simpler. 7

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Whatever you start with, make sure that you broaden your learners' minds about limitations in the pH models. CONCLUSION Educators have to critically debate issues that seem to be taken for granted and form networks through which they can share knowledge, especially drawing upon their experiences in class, and be ready to provide logical answers to their learners when they end up with funny values such as negative pH values. It might be necessary to introduce the concept of Super Acids to learners since they are exposed to acids whose Molarity is greater than 1 at school. REFERENCES Brink, B. P. & Jones, R. C. 1979. Physical Science 10. Juta & Co, Ltd. Cape Town. Cotton, F. A., Wilkinson, G., & Gaus, P. L. 1987. Basic Inorganic Chemistry. John Wiley & Sons. New York. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. 1st Student Edition. 1987 Ellis, H. Eds.1984. Revised Nuffield Advanced Science Book of Data. Longman Group (FE) Ltd. Hong Kong. Hawkes, S. J., 1992. Arrhenius Confuses Students. Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 69, No. 7; July 1992; pages 542-543. IUPAC Online [Available] www.iupac.org [15th July 2002] Park, J. L., 1998. Acids and bases. Online. [Available] http://dbhs.wvusd.k12.ca.us/AcidBase/Acid-Base [7th July 2002] Toon, E. R. & Ellis, G. L. 1973. Foundations of Chemistry. Holt, Rinchart & Winston, Inc. New York.

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