Biology Math Essay

pH is the acidity or base of a substance that is dissolved in water. The pH of a substance is based on the number of H+ and OH- (Hydrogen ion concentration) the solution has. If there is more H+ than OH-, the solution is acidic. If there is more  OH- than H+, the solution is basic. The scale on which pH is measured is from 0 (lowest pH) to 14 (highest pH). The number 7 represents neutral pH. Water has a neutral pH. This means that there is an equal number of H+ and OH- in water. A log is the exponent of how many exponents the pH is measured as. For instance, a pH of 3 represents a -log which is is equal to 10-3. This means that a substance with a pH of 4 has a concentration of hydrogen atoms that is 10 times greater than a substance with a pH of 5. The pH of the human body that is  is usually between 7.35 and 7.45, this is because our body has buffers, natural protectors that can tolerate acids which is important because there are many acids that are produced regularly by the body. Stomach acid has a pH of 2. The formula pH = -log (H+) is important to understanding pH. The (H+) part f the formula represents the value of the pH of the solution in scientific notation,  for example, a pH of 2 is the equivalent of 10-2. A commonly used acid is hydrochloric acid. If you mix an acid with a base, you can create a more neutral substance by making the H+ and OH- ions equal, or at least closer to equal, in concentration.

To convert between metric locate the prefix of given quantity. Then take the number associated with that prefix and move the decimal either forwards or backwards to the desired decimal prefix. If there is no prefix, the unit is in its base measurement. A base measurement is, for instance, a unit such as 12 M or 6 K. For example, 3 grams converts to an equal measurement of 0.003 centigrams. Zeros are added as necessary, as place holders, but they do not have any significance because they will be created or eliminated when converting between units of measurement.
Learning the concept of pH was slightly confusing at first when discussing it in class. The notes taken on it were extremely helpful. There was a key point near the middle of the notes where the arrows were drawn where I made the connection between the acid and the base on either side of the neutral seven. I understood the concept of metric conversion, the only problem I had with it was remembering the order of the prefixes. To remember them easier, I made an acronym using the first letter of every prefix. The most helpful resource for learning this was the no-think metric conversion latter handout that was distributed in class.
The information that I have acquired during unit 1 of this biological study has helped me to realize how much mathematics really is connected to biology and everything we use in our every day lives. Comparing metric measurements with different unit prefixes would be impossible if one was unable to convert them to the same unit of measurement. It is very important to know the difference between a acid and a base and to be able to tell what the pH of a solution is when only given a number because about half of the lab experiments that we have done in this unit have involved acids and bases.

No comments:

Post a Comment