This drawing represents a comet bringing atmospheric molecules and possibly primitive life forms to the Earth's surface.
Click on image for full size
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).
You might also be interested in:
Nitric acid is a very strong acid that can burn your skin. Nitric acid has nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms in it. There is a very tiny bit of nitric acid gas in Earth's atmosphere. Nitric acid is...more
Sulfuric acid is a very common type of acid. Acid rain has sulfuric acid in it. Acid rain harms plants, fish, and other living things. A type of air pollution causes acid rain. When people burn fossil...more
Methane is a kind of gas. There is a small amount of methane in the air you breathe. A methane molecule has carbon and hydrogen atoms in it. Methane is a greenhouse gas. That means it helps make Earth...more
Ammonia is a kind of gas. Ammonia molecules (NH3) have hydrogen and nitrogen atoms in them. The air you breathe has a tiny bit of ammonia in it. When plants and animals die and decay, they give off ammonia....more
There is more nitrogen gas in the air than any other kind of gas. About 4/5ths of Earth's atmosphere is nitrogen gas! A molecule of nitrogen gas is made up of two nitrogen atoms. There are other molecules...more
Oxygen (O2) is a kind of gas. A lot of the air you breathe is oxygen. That's a good thing, since we need oxygen to stay alive! About 4/5ths of the air in Earth's atmosphere is nitrogen (N2). Almost all...more
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a kind of chemical. A molecule of hydrogen peroxide has oxygen and hydrogen atoms in it. Hydrogen peroxide is a clear liquid. Hydrogen peroxide is in some liquids that are used...more