This question already has an answer here:

So I am asked to solve this question from Silberberg:

Use Appendix C to calculate $[\mathrm{H_2S}]$, $[\mathrm{HS}^-]$, $[\mathrm{S^{2-}}]$, $[\mathrm{H_30}^+]$, $\mathrm{pH}$, $[\mathrm{OH}^-]$, $\mathrm{pOH}$, in a $0.10 \mathrm{M}$ solution of the diprotic acid hydrosulfuric acid.

In Appendix C (Equilibrium Constants for Selected Substances at $298 \mathrm{K}$),

$\mathrm{H_2S}$ has a $K_a$ of $9 \times 10^{-8}$ (which has one sig.fig.)

I answered it with one sig.fig. because $K_a$ has one sig.fig. but my teacher told me that $K_a$ is a constant (I did not understand why and he told me that the burden of proof is up to me) so it should be two sig.fig.

I checked the Answers appendix of the book, and all of the answers were in one sig.fig except $[\mathrm{H_2S}]$, which had $0.10 \mathrm{M}$.

What is the correct answer?


marked as duplicate by Gaurang Tandon, Pritt Balagopal, airhuff, aventurin, Jon Custer Apr 2 '18 at 13:47

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


An exact constant has infinite significant figures.For example you can say 2 eggs,2.0eggs2.0000000eggs or 2.00 eggs and it will all mean exactly the same. Therefore you are limited by expression 0.10 molar since it has 2 Sig. Digits,hence you should report it in 2 digits.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.