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The textbook says the best way to identify the strength of acids and bases is to memorize the strong acids and bases, and then the rest will be considered weak acids and bases. Is this a good method, or is there a more accurate method?
KMcFarland_1E wrote:The textbook says the best way to identify the strength of acids and bases is to memorize the strong acids and bases, and then the rest will be considered weak acids and bases. Is this a good method, or is there a more accurate method?
I'm not sure if there is a better method unfortunately. Usually, the H-X (where X is a halogen, with the exception of fluorine) are the strong acids. Anything that has an OH bonded to it is usually a strong base. That isn't a very excellent method though, I would rather memorize the common strong acids/bases.
Yes, It's probably easiest to memorize them. However there are a few ways to tell if an acid or base will be strong or not. Strong acids also tend to have a very large bond length (hydroiodic acid is strong because iodine has a large atomic radius, and thus is far away from the hydrogen). Additionally, when in aqueous solution, strong acids always produce a STABLE anion! To identify weak bases, there aren't a ton of tricks that I personally know of, but I know the presence of a Nitrogen with a lone pair is a good indicator that the base will be weak. Hope this helps a little bit!
Also you can be pretty confident with weak acids or weak bases if they don't follow the general formula for the strong versions (i.e. a metal and OH for strong bases and a starting H for strong acids). Obviously some specifics will have to be memorized but you can use some process of elimination if you are not sure.
Hi, a strategy that worked for me to remember the strong bases was to look at them on the periodic table, as they form a "b" shape on the left side of the periodic table (LiOH down to CsOH and CaOH down to BaOH). For strong acids, I just read the acids over and over again but it helped knowing that there were 3 "Cl" acids (HCl, HClO3, HClO4). Hope this helps!
If you click on the hint part of a question on Sapling, it will link you to a list of strong acids and bases which I find to be really helpful when memorizing them. Also, like Owen said, anything that is not listed on the strong acids or strong bases chart but follows the general formula are most likely wear acids or weak bases. Hope this helps!
Table J.1 on page F77 in the textbook provides a table for commons strong acids and bases. I found memorizing these were extremely helpful! However, remembering that large bond lengths and highly EN anions also make strong acids is also helpful to remember conceptually.
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