On 8th January 1868, Søren Peder Lauritz Sørensen was born in Havrebjerg, Denmark. He died on 12th February 1939. He was a Danish chemist famous for the introduction of the concept of pH, a scale for measuring acidity and basicity.
From 1901 to 1938 he was head of the prestigious Carlsberg Laboratory, Copenhagen. While working there he studied the effect of ion concentration on proteins, and because the concentration of hydrogen ions was particularly important, he introduced the pH-scale as a simple way of expressing it in 1909.
The article in which he introduced the scale (using the notation pH), described two new methods for measuring acidity. The first method was based on electrodes, while the second involved comparing the colours of samples and a preselected set of indicators.
pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline. Pure water has a pH very close to 7.
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