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S.P.L. Sorensen PH Scale has been featured in Google’s Doodle

S.P.L. Sorensen PH Scale featured in Google’s Doodle

On Tuesday, Google celebrates the scale’s creator, S.P.L. Sorensen.

The Danish chemist was born in Havrebjerg, Denmark, on Jan. 9, 1868. He became the head of Copenhagen’s prestigious Carlsberg Laboratory in 1901, a lab created by the founder of the Carlsberg brewery mainly to advance biochemical knowledge relating to brewing.

Instead, Sorensen made a significant contribution to the field of chemistry, introducing the pH scale in 1909 as a simple way of showing the effect of ion concentration on proteins.

For those who don’t remember back to Chem 101, the pH scale is the negative of the base 10 logarithms of the activity of the hydrogen ion. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic. S.P.L. Sorensen PH Scale featured in Google’s Doodle.

With his great achievement for chemistry, Sorensen died Feb. 12, 1939, aged 71.

 

Who was S.P.L. Sørensen?

Born in Havrebjerg, Denmark in 1868, Sørensen was a Danish chemist who established the pH scale, which tests the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Sørensen studied at the University of Copenhagen, originally with plans to pursue medicine. After studying under an important chemist named SM Jørgensen, Sørensen pivoted to chemistry. He ran the Carlsberg Laboratory in Copenhagen from 1901 to 1938, where he studied ion concentration on proteins and devised a simple way to express the concentration of hydrogen ions: the pH scale.S.P.L. Sorensen PH Scale featured in Google’s Doodle.

 

What is the pH scale used for?

Introduced in 1909, the pH scale — officially, the power of hydrogen — measures the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Substances with a pH less than 7 are acidic and those above 7 are alkaline. Water is neutral at 7. The scale is incredibly important for a wide range of areas in everyday life, such as treating soil, reducing tooth decay, medicine, and monitoring the acidity of water.

Sørensen died on Feb. 12, 1939, but his legacy continues to this day.

Tuesday’s animated Doodle depicts a cartoon Sørensen and his pH scale. Viewers must decide if everyday foodstuffs, such as tomatoes, lemons, eggs, and broccoli are classed as acidic or alkaline.

Source: time.com and cnet.com

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