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I know how we learned that you can do an approximation when Ka is smaller than 10^-3, but I was wondering if anyone can explain how we can check if that approximation is correct or not? (because it's sometimes a gray area if it's only a little smaller)
To check if the approximation is valid or not, you need to check if the percent ionization of the original substance is less than or equal to 5%. If it is greater, then you know that x will impact the original substance's molarity enough such that a quadratic must be used.
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