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66 MATHS FOR CHEMISTS 2

66 MATHS FOR CHEMISTS 2

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Maths for Chemists 2
C
 hem
 F
 actsheet
www.curriculumpress.co.ukNumber 66
1
This Factsheet covers logarithms and their use in Chemistry.
What are logarithms?
Logarithms are closely related to powers, so before continuing, make sureyou know and understand the power facts in the box (right).To see how logarithms work, consider the following examples:100 = 10
2
log
10
100 = 20.001 = 10
-3
log
10
0.001 = -3So when we say "what is log
10
1000?", we are asking "What power mustI raise 10 to, to get the answer 1000?" The answer is 3 - so log
10
1000 = 3Although you can have logarithms to different bases, in Chemistry wewill only be looking at logarithms to the base 10 (log
10
). To save time, we'll just write "log" when we mean "log
10
"
Calculating logs
It's easy to work out logs for numbers that are exact powers of 10 and it'sworth being able to do so mentally to save time in the exam and guardagainst calculator error. But logs for other numbers have to be worked outon your calculator.The button for finding log to the base 10 may be labelled:LOGLOG
10
LGNote: do NOT use the button labelled ln or log
e
. This gives you logarithmsto a different base - and hence the wrong answers!Some calculators require you to put the number in first, then press the logbutton - in others, you press the log button first, then the number. Check which yours is by finding log100 (the answer should be 2).
Exam Hint 
: You should 
never 
get a negative number from either of the above methods. It's impossible to find the log of a negative number - if you think you have, then you've probably pressed LOG not INV LOG.
Powers
Raising a number to a
positive
power means multiplying it by itself that number of times - eg 10
6
= 10
×
10
×
10
×
10
×
10
×
10Special cases: any number to the power 1 is the number itself; anynumber to the 0 gives 1 - eg 2
1
= 23
0
= 1Negative powers of a number are one over the corresponding postivepower - egYou can also have powers that are decimals - eg 10
2.156
You find powers on your calculator using the button marked x
y
(ory
x
) - eg to find 10
2.156
, type in 10, then x
y
, then 2.156
(check - the answer should be 143.2)
When doing work on logarithms in Chemistry, you mainly deal withpowers of 10 - so, a few facts about them:
Positive powers of 10 are easy to recognise - just count the zeroes!eg 10
1
= 10 10
3
= 1000Negative powers of 10 are easy to recognise as decimals - just countthe decimal places! eg 10
-1
= 0.1 10
-4
= 0.0001Positive powers are larger than 1; negative powers smaller than 1
33
11110101010100010
===××
Finding the number that has a particular log
There are two ways of doing this on your calculator:
Use the x
y
(or y
x
) button to find 10 to the power of the numbereg: logx = 0.123. To find x, enter 10 x
y
0.123
Use the INV or 2ND or SHIFT button, together with the LOG buttonOn some calculators you have to press INV LOG first, then the number;on others you press the number then INV LOG. Check which yours isby using this method to solve logx = -1.23
(ans 0.0589)
If a number has a whole-number log (eg logx = -4 or logy = 3) then you canfind the number without a calculator:logx = -4 so x = 10
-4
= 0.0001logy = 3 so y = 10
3
= 1000
Checking answers
Once you are confident with logs and can do whole-number examples in your head, you can use this method to check if your answer is plausible: If logx = 1.57, since 1.57 is between 1 and 2, x is between 10
1
and 10
2
So if, when you found x, it wasn't between 10 and 100 - you'd know therewas a mistake.
Before moving on to applying logs, check you understand the work so farby doing these questions. Try not to use your calculator in questions 1and 3, and in questions 2 and 4, work out mentally the values your answerlies between in order to check your calculation,1. Find:a) log 100b) log 1c) log 10d) log 0.1e) log 0.0012. Find:a) log2b) log 91c) log0.61d) log 0.003e) log½3. Find the number whose log is:a) -2b) 4c) 1d) 0e) 64. Find the number whose log is:a) 0.674b) 2.18c) -2.16d) -0.0521e) -1.32
   A  n  s   w  e  r  s   1  a  )  2  b  )  0  c  )  1  d  )  -  1  e  )  -  3   2  a  )  0 .  3  0  1  b  )  1 .  9  6  c  )  -  0 .  2  1  5  d  )  -  2 .  5  2  e  )  -  0 .  3  0  1   3 .  a  )  0 .  0  0  1  b  )  1  0  0  0  0  c  )  1  0  d  )  1  e  )  1  0  0  0  0  0  0   4 .  a  )  4 .  7  2  b  )  1  5  1  c  )  0 .  0  0  6  9  2  d  )  0 .  8  8  7  e  )  0 .  0  4  7  9
Exam Hint 
: Remembering these points can help you spot a wrong answer from keying into your calculator wrongly - and hence save a few marks! 
 
Chem Factsheet
2
66. Maths for Chemists 2
Logarithms and graphs
Sometimes graphs are required for data that cover a very wide range of values – going, for example, from 100 to 100 000. One example of this issuccessive ionisation energies for one element.This presents a problem, since if the largest values are to fit on the graph, it will be very hard to plot thesmall ones accurately.Logarithmic scales are used to overcome this problem. Instead of the actual value, the logarithm of the actual value is plotted. This can be done on oneor both axes. This helps because the logarithms will not vary so much in size as the actual data values – eg log 100 = 2 and log100 000 = 5, so it wouldbe easy to fit both of these on one graph. It is usual to label the axes with the original values instead of their logarithms; this means that the scale is likelyto go up 1, 10, 100, 1000 etc.
2.003.004.005.006.0001234567891011
1 000 000100 00010 0001 000100
electrons removedIElog(IE)Logarithms and calculations on strong acids and bases
You need to be able to use logarithms in work on acids and bases.The key definitions involving logs are:We can see from the data that it would be hard to plot all the ionisationenergies accurately, so it's sensible to use a logarithmic scale for them.There is no need to use one for the other axis, as these are small numbers.Example: logarithmic graph of the successive ionisation energies of sodium.Electrons removed Energy required(kJ mol
-1
) log(energy)14902.6924 5603.6636 9403.8449 5403.98513 4994.13616 6004.22720 1004.30825 5004.41928 9004.4610141 0005.1511158 7005.20The graph is shown below. Note the values of log(IE) on the axis areshown only for information here; the y-axis would normally just have IEvalues.
 pH = -log
 
[H 
+
] pOH = -log[OH 
− 
] ( = 14 - pH) Note that "p" here isrepresenting "-log"
 Example 3 Find the pH of a 2 mol dm
-3
solution of sodium hydroxide
The key idea here is that as we are dealing with a base, we must usethe two equations relating to pOH. In addition, we know that sodium hydroxide is a strong base, and sowill be fully dissociated into ions. pOH= -log[OH 
− 
]= -log2= - 0.301pH= 14 - pO= 14.301
 Example 4 A solution of potassium hydroxide has pH 13. Find its concentration
 Again we use the two equations relating to pOH  pOH= 14 - pH = 14 - 13 = 1 Now pOH= -log[OH 
− 
]So 1= -log[OH 
− 
]-1= log[O
− 
][OH 
− 
] = 10
-1
= 0.1 mol dm
− 
3
Since we have a strong base, concentration of the solution is 0.1 mol dm
-3
We will focus here on the aspects of the calculations involving logarithms;other Factsheets give further information on more general acid/base problems.
 Example 1 Find the pH of a 0.1 mol dm
-3
solution of hydrochloric acid 
The key chemistry here is that as hydrochloric acid is a strong acid, it dissociates completely into ions - so [H 
+
] = 0.1So pH= -log(0.1)= - (-1) = 1
 Example 2 A solution of HBr is found to have a pH of 0.5. Find the concentration of  the solution
. pH= -log[H 
+
]0.5= -log[
+
]log[H 
+
]=-0.5[H 
+
] = 10
-0.5
= 0.316 mol dm
-3
Since again we have a strong acid, this is also the concentration of thesolution.
Now try these examples. You can assume all acids and bases are strong.1. Find the pH of a 0.5 mol dm
-3
solution of nitric acid2. Find the concentration of a solution of hydrochloric acid that has pH -0.63. Find the pH of a 3 mol dm
-3
solution of potassium hydroxide4. A solution of sodium hydroxide has pH 14. Find its concentration.
A    n   s     w   e    r   s
  1 .  0 .  3  0  1   2 .  3 .  9  8    m  o  l  d    m
  -  3
  3 .  p   O   H   =  -  0 .  4  7  7  s  o  p   H   =  1  4 .  4  7  7   4 .  p   O   H   =  0  s  o  1    m  o  l  d    m
  -  3

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