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I have measured the pH in the water-soluble fraction of a powder. I weighed in a certain amount of powder and a certain amount of water, and extracted the water-soluble fraction. I then measured the pH in this extract.

How do I report this? The pH depends on the amount of powder and the amount of water. Should I give the weighed-in amounts along with the pH-value? Or is there a way to "normalize" the pH-values to make them comparable for all? Just giving the pH values make no sense, as no one can compare anything to them.

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  • $\begingroup$ Imagine your report to be the experimental part of a publication. How much detail is needed to reproduce your results without mental acrobatics and mind reading. Sometimes, more is more. $\endgroup$ – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Feb 27 '15 at 13:50
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Will it become more clear for a reader if you use an an abbreviated, "coded" form to express what you have actually done?

If not, why waste your time to encode it and waste the time of the reader to decode it (and maybe still leave space for ambiguity)?

I'd be fine with a report that precisely describes the experimental procedure and the observations.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, always make everything as clear as possible. You sound like my professor in academic writing. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Yoda Mar 5 '15 at 9:02
  • $\begingroup$ @AndersMB Thanks! I take that as a compliment :) $\endgroup$ – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Mar 5 '15 at 9:03
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I would say "pH of x% solution" if you didn't separate the extract from the insoluble fraction.

I would say "pH of y:1 water extract" you performed a separation.

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  • $\begingroup$ I am slightly confused. Lets say I added 7g powder to 45g water, and separated the extract from the insoluble powder. How would you report that? $\endgroup$ – Yoda Feb 27 '15 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ I would say "pH of the 6.4 to 1 water extract" or "pH of the 6.4:1 water:powder extract" or "pH of the 45:7 w/w water:powder extract" $\endgroup$ – DavePhD Feb 27 '15 at 14:01

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