What are physical properties of acids?

1 Answer
Jan 5, 2016


Sour taste and smell, able to conduct electricity.


Acids are compounds that can release hydrogen ions (#H^+#) into solution, where they react with water to produce hydronium ions (#H_3O^+#). This is a well-known chemical process.

The physical properties of acids are directly related to their chemical behaviour. In general, they have a sour taste because of the way they react with saliva in your mouth. At least, we know weak acids like citric acid taste sour, but for stronger ones like sulfuric acid it's best to assume!

Many acids are known for their smells, which can be pungent or even painful. For example butyric acid, found in cheese, smells like vomit.

Acidic solutions are also able to conduct electricity. This is because the hydronium ions (#H_3O^+#) produced can flow under the influence of an external electric field. They carry positive charges and so constitute electrical current. More info.