Acids and Bases Lesson

Difference between Acids and Bases:

To understand Acids, think of the orange juice you drank the other day. Think of the delicious tangy taste you got when you took your first sip. That tang is the direct result of these’ acidic nature. The reason that orange, certain beverages and many other substances are naturally acidic is because they contain lots of hydrogen ions. (An ion is a special type of atom or molecule that has an electric charge.) A hydrogen ion, then, is one that has a tiny electrical charge.

Every substance in the universe is made up of hundreds and thousands of tiny atoms, molecules and ions. When a large number of those are hydrogen ions, the substance is acidic. In food, that means it will have a sour or tangy taste. But keep in mind that lot of things other than food can be acidic as well, though.

On other hand if you had ever eaten a baked cake, the bitterness in the baked cake comes from baking soda that was used to make your cake. If you try to taste this pure baking soda, you’ll see that it’s very bitter. If you rub it between your fingers, you’ll get a strange, soapy feeling. This all happens because baking soda has a basic nature, it is a base.


Unlike acids that have hydrogen ions, the bases contain lots of hydroxide ions. In foods, this means they will taste more bitter. It is not that only food items can be bases, there are plenty of other items also that can be bases.

What is a Ph Scale?

Whether certain things are acids or they’re bases, an easy way is to find out is their Ph level.

You may wonder what is Ph level?

Well, imagine the pH scale as a ruler that you can use to measure how acidic or base something is.

There are 14 different possible point values on the scale, and each one represents a possible level of acidity or baseness.

If the Ph level is between o to 7, the substance is acidic, where 0 is the most acidic.

A substance is basic, then, if it has a pH level between 7 to 14, where 14 is the most basic. If a substance has a pH of exactly 7, it’s neutral. This means it has equal amounts of hydrogen and hydroxide ions.

In this video for middle school students, the differences between acid and bases is defined very clearly and you can also know more about Ph scale.

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