Google Doodle today involves going back to your chemistry lessons from school. The Doodle on Tuesday (29 May 2018) honoured 20th-century Danish scientist Søren Peder Lauritz Sørensen with a doodle. Sørensen is known for creating the pH scale, which is used to measure how acidic or alkaline a chemical is.
Born on 9 January 1868 in Havrebjerg in Denmark, Sørensen wanted to pursue a career in the field of medicine, and only turned to Chemistry later under the guidance of the influential chemist SM Jørgensen. Søren Peder Lauritz Sørensen worked at the Carlsberg Laboratory in Copenhagen from 1901 to 1938. The concept of pH values was introduced in 1909 as a convenient way to express acidity.
The pH scale is a concept that is used to measure acidity and alkalinity of substances. The term pH is widely used in chemistry and biology. The significance of pH is that it measures the concentration of the hydrogen ion and ‘ranks’ them on a scale of numbers between 0 and 14. The ‘rank’ of the substance is known as the pH level of the substance being measured.
Substances that give a pH reading of 7 are salts, such as the common salt – neither acidic nor alkaline. Those that give a reading below 7 are acidic – the further they are from 7, the more acidic they are. Those that give a reading above 7 are alkaline – the further they are from 7, the more alkaline they are.
The scale is still used for various purposes in medicine, chemistry and water treatment. Pure water has a pH of 7, and the pH level can indicate how pure a given water sample is.
The doodle comprises a simple animated game, which shows you a food item or other substances, and you have to sort it according to its pH values. Now a pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is and it goes from values 0-14. If the pH scale is less than 7, the substance is acidic, if it’s more than 7 then the substance is alkaline. A pH value of 7 means the substance is neutral. Generally water has a pH value of 7 as it’s neither acidic nor alkaline.
In the doodle, you are presented with a tomato, egg, broccoli, lemon, a soapy solution, battery and you have to click on either arrows which will sort them on either side of the pH scale. A correct guess will sort the substance and will also show the pH value of the said substance. If you are wrong, the laboratory scientist, modeled on Sorensen, will wildly shake his head asking you to try again. After sorting the six substances, they all animate again and make the Google logo.
The interactive #Doodle aims to explain the pH scale to beginners by making the user guess which items have which pH level.
For instance, the pH level for eggs stands at 8, while the pH level for lemons and tomatoes stands at 2 and 4 respectively.
What this means is that while tomatoes are acidic, lemons are extremely acidic in nature. SPL Sorensen was born in the Danish city of Havrebjerb on 9th January, 1868. He died on 12th February in 1939.
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