unit of measure that describes the alkalinity or acidity of a solution. Negative log of the hydrogen ion concentration. Measured on a scale from 0 to 14. Greater than 7 is alkaline. less than 7 is acid. and 7 is neutral (pure water) (see acidity and alkalinity).
In chemistry, pH (/piːˈeɪtʃ/) is a scale used to specify how acidic or basic a water-based solution is. Acidic solutions have a lower pH, while basic solutions have a higher pH. At room temperature (25 °C), pure water is neither acidic nor basic and has a pH of 7.
The pH scale is logarithmic and approximates the negative of the base 10 logarithm of the molar concentration (measured in units of moles per liter) of hydrogen ions in a solution. More precisely it is the negative of the base 10 logarithm of the activity of the hydrogen ion. At 25 °C, solutions with a pH less than 7 are acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic. The neutral value of the pH depends on the temperature, being lower than 7 if the temperature increases. The pH value can be less than 0 for very strong acids, or greater than 14 for very strong bases.
The pH scale is traceable to a set of standard solutions whose pH is established by international agreement. Primary pH standard values are determined using a concentration cell with transference, by measuring the potential difference between a hydrogen electrode and a standard electrode such as the silver chloride electrode. The pH of aqueous solutions can be measured with a glass electrode and a pH meter, or a color-changing indicator. Measurements of pH are important in chemistry, agronomy, medicine, water treatment, and many other applications.