Acids + Bases Made Easy! Part 1 - What the Heck is an Acid or Base? - Organic Chemistry


"Retaking orgo again?"

Ello! Are you guys confused about acids and bases? Well, turns out they're actually very useful and dangerous

so it's important that you guys understand them and not take orgo 53 times

because that's no fun because then you'll have to deal with me for 53 years-- and trust me,

I've dealt with myself for 20 years and mm-mm.

So you guys probably have already heard of HCl, also known as hydrochloric acid, right?

It's in your stomach breaking down your foods, so this way your body can absorb the nutrients

and give you energy to stay awake and watch my face.

Another acid is HF, also known as hydrofluoric acid. It's actually weaker than HCl

but it's actually more dangerous--did you know that?

The reason's because HF, right? A lot of people, when they get exposed to it, don't realize it.

HF goes through your skin and then when it gets to your bone, it starts dissolving away at it... so that's not good.

It's also very bad for your eyes and your lungs, so make sure to always use googles and no sniffing.

*sniff sniff* Whoo!

No sniffing.

So onto the stuff that's gonna be on your exams, right? If the Lewis or Bronstead-Lowry definitions of acids

confuse you guys... well why don't we forget about all the names and just think about it another way, okay?

My way of thinking about acids is sort of like a combination of the two.

When I took orgo, I just thought of acids as basically just a molecule that has a hydrogen that it loses very easily...

or the hydrogen falls off very easily.

Now some of you guys might be wondering: Why does the hydrogen fall off so easily, right?

Or why does the molecule ditch that hydrogen so easily?

Did the hydrogen sleep with the rest of the molecules' wives? No.

It's actually because the bond between the hydrogen and the rest of the molecule-- so that's this bond right here--

is very, very weak, loose, crappy basically, and the hydrogen just falls off very easily... like this.

And then for bases, it's like the complete opposite. Bases such as sodium hydroxide, right?

They have electrons or pairs of electrons that can form nice, sturdy, strong, solid, firm bonds with hydrogen

and then bases don't lose the hydrogen so easily. It's kind of like this.

No matter how hard I try to break it, the bond doesn't really break...

because the base can form such a strong bond with hydrogens.

And that's all I really think about when somebody asks me what an acid or base is, okay?

Okay, well maybe it didn't really smell that bad... it was just an empty bottle of methanol. But still. Don't sniff.

Okay, so now we're gonna recap real quickly, okay? So, strong acids: they lose hydrogens very easily...

and they lose the hydrogen very easily because they have weak bonds with the hydrogen...

and when they lose the hydrogen, they basically become a base or they go into their base form...

and that's called a conjugate base.

So when they go into their base form, they can't maintain a strong bond with hydrogen...

so they can't grab onto hydrogens and hold onto it

So that's why when they're in their base form, they're very, very weak bases.

But for strong bases, however, when they start off, they are really, really strong bases.

They can grab onto a hydrogen and hold onto it very, very tightly,

because they can maintain stronger bonds with hydrogen.

So when they grab onto the hydrogen, they instead go into their acid forms, which is called conjugate acids...

and when they go into conjugate acid forms, these strong bases, since they can maintain a nice,

strong bond, they can't do their job as an acid very well, which is to throw away the hydrogen

because they can maintain such strong bonds. So that's why strong bases become weak acids,

and strong acids become weak bases, okay?

So as you guys can see, there's basically a converse, or opposite, relationship between acid string

and base string, okay?

By now, you guys are probably wondering or thinking:

"Frank... I get that, but how do I know if a molecule has a strong bond or weak bond just by looking at it?"

Well, there's three things you have to take into account-- something called the inductive or electronegative effect

which I'm going to explain in my next video.

The size of the atom inside your molecule that's actually being bonded with the hydrogen-- that's video 3,

and then how concentrated the electrons actually are in that bond between your molecule and the hydrogen

is going to help you determine that, and that's going to be part 4 of this video series.

Um... that's basically it for this intro series. Make sure you guys check those out.

If you like this video, make sure you like it down there.

If you have time, leave a comment down below.

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See you in part 2!