# How is the "Bronsted Lowry" theory of acidity formulated?

Jan 5, 2017

The physical chemists, Johannes Nicolaus Brønsted in Denmark and Thomas Martin Lowry in England, independently proposed an acid-base theory that carries their names.

#### Explanation:

In their conception of acid base behaviour, an acid and a base exchanged a proton, ${H}^{+}$, to form a $\text{conjugate acid}$ and $\text{conjugate base}$. The acid was the proton donor, and the base, the proton acceptor. And thus in the autoprotolysis of water, the water molcule was simultaneously the acid and the base:

2H_2O rightleftharpoonsH_3O^(+) + ""^(-)HO.

And for a stronger acid, such as $H X$,

$H X \left(a q\right) + {H}_{2} O \left(l\right) r i g h t \le f t h a r p \infty n s {H}_{3} {O}^{+} + {X}^{-}$

it is clear which is the acid, the proton donor, and which is the base, the proton acceptor.

I once asked a Dane who was quite an accomplished linguist what was the difference in pronounciation between $\text{Brønsted}$, and $\text{Bronsted}$. He just laughed and told me not to bother.