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Confusing pH question

  1. Oct 2, 2004 #1
    I know this is simple, but I am a bit confused

    1) find the pH of 12.1 M HCl - the negative log gives me -1.8. What am I doing wrong

    2) 50% NaOH (roughly 15 M) - I am not sure how to do this one either

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2004 #2


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    Well, HCL is a strong acid, so it dissociates completely in ions. Of course aqueous solution.

    [tex] HCl + H_{2}O \rightarrow H_{3}O^{+} + Cl^{-} [/tex]

    [tex] H_{3}O^+ \approx H^+ [/tex]

    I get pH -log(12.1) = -1.08, are you sure is 12.1 M?

    Well, i barely remember my freshman chemistry, wait for more help.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2004
  4. Oct 2, 2004 #3
    What's wrong? You are allowed to have pH values that are negative and that are also above 14.
  5. Oct 3, 2004 #4


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    If the concentration is beyond the limits of Ostwald's dilution principle, then some weird results like this is likely to occur, as gravenenewworld said in a different way. Nautica, your findings of negative pH and pOH values are normal, as these are very concentrated and are not obeying the principle.
  6. Oct 3, 2004 #5
    Thanks, I was aware that pH could be negative, but I did not realize they would get that negative. I was thinking around zero and negative 0.5 or so.

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