High school chemistry student here. For our purposes in class for studying acids and bases, we are taught that $\text{p}K_\text{w}=14.00$, which is central for many of our calculations. I assume this is the value for room temperature and standard pressure.

However, it seems awfully suspicious that the negative $\log$ of an equilibrium constant should turn out to be a whole number. Is this just a useful coincidence? Or have scientists pulled some clever tricks, ex. by defining "room temperature" to be the temperature such that $\text{p}K_\text{w}=14.0000...$?

  • $\begingroup$ Pure coincidence. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$
    – Zhe
    Jun 7 '17 at 3:19
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Zhe I don't think it's exactly $1.0 \times 10^{-14}$ $\endgroup$ Jun 7 '17 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ @PrittBalagopal That's exactly what the link indicates. I'm not claiming that it is. Though I can see my wording is not great here... $\endgroup$
    – Zhe
    Jun 7 '17 at 12:25

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