Chapter 16 Worksheet 1
Buffers and the Henderson-Hasselbalch Equation
1. State the operational and technical definitions of a buffer.
Operational definition (What does it do?):
A buffer is a solution that resists changes in pH upon the addition of a small amount of
strong acid or strong base.
Technical definition (How do you make one?):
A buffer is composed of a mixture·of a weak acid its conjugate base.
(Sometimes a solution that is technically a buffer does NOT resist changes in pH. This occurs
when so much acid or base are added to the buffer that they become the excess reactant.)
2. The pH of a buffer is determined by two things:
The Ka (or pKa) of the conjugate acid and [A-]