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Base in Chemistry - Windows to the Universe

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Base

Like an acid, a base is a substance capable of dissolving things. Here is a scientific explanation of what a base is:

A base is a substance which accepts a proton from another species in a reaction. (Here, "accept" is a passive term for what really happens. A base attacks and "rips" a proton from a substance which has any capability of giving it away. Thus a base accepts a proton the way a thief "accepts" your purse). Bases are classified as either strong or weak depending upon their relative ability to do this. When it does this, it changes the substance it attacks into a different substance.

There are many bases. Here are a few: Ammonia (used as a cleaner), Calcium hydroxide (used in mortar for construction), Magnesium hydroxide (otherwise known as milk of magnesia; used as a laxative or antacid), Sodium hydroxide (used as an oven cleaner).

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