The origin and development of the acidity function

Foundations of Chemistry 11 (1):43-50 (2009)

Abstract

The acidity function is a thermodynamic quantitative measure of acid strength for non-aqueous and concentrated aqueous Brønsted acids, with acid strength being defined as the extent to which the acid protonates a base of known basicity. The acidity function, which was developed, both theoretically and experimentally, by Louis P. Hammett of Columbia University during the 1930s, has proven useful in the area of physical organic chemistry where it has been used to correlate rates of acid-catalyzed reactions and to quantitate the acidity of superacids, acids with protonating abilities greater than pure sulfuric acid. All Brønsted acids can now be compared using a common measure. Karl Popper’s seminal idea of theory falsification does not apply here because of the many successful applications of the acidity function. Likewise, Thomas Kuhn’s idea of a paradigm shift does not apply here, even though the acidity function concept was revolutionary, because the acidity function is commensurate with classical concepts of acidity.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,856

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-02-07

Downloads
58 (#200,279)

6 months
1 (#386,016)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Whence Chemistry?Robert C. Bishop - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (2):171-177.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Fitness and Function.D. M. Walsh - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):553-574.
Ulcers and Bacteria I: Discovery and Acceptance.Paul Thagard - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 29 (1):107-136.
Analogieschlüsse in der chemischen Vergangenheit: Irrwege und Wegweiser.Henricus A. M. Snelders - 1994 - NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 2 (1):65-75.