SPL Sorensen: Google doodle dedicated to Danish biochemist who created the pH scale

Today’s Google doodle, dedicated to SPL Sorensen, is not only fun, but also informative.

  • Published: May 29, 2018 9:04 AM IST

Today’s Google doodle is dedicated to Danish biochemist Soren Peder Lauritz Sorensen. The man is credited with creating the pH scale, which is used to measure acidity and alkalinity of substances.

The pH scale has taken up a huge significance in the fields of chemistry, and biology. The scale essentially measures the concentration of hydrogen ions, and ranks them on a scale of 0-14. Substances that have a pH level of less than seven are acidic, and those higher than seven are alkalis. This rank is what is also called pH level of a particular substance.

Sorenson was born on January 9, 1868 in the Danish city of Havrebjerb. Between 1901-1938, he headed the Carlsberg Laboratory in Copenhagen, where he studied the effects of ion concentration on proteins. In 1909 while studying this, Sorenson developed a scale to easily measure the ions, and the pH scale was born.

Google is using a fun and interactive way of making people understand how the pH scale works. The animated doodle asks users to classify certain products into their respective pH range. Sorenson asks you to guess the pH level of things like tomatoes, lemons, eggs, and broccoli to name a few. Don’t miss out on his reaction when you hit the wrong button.

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To give you an example, the likes of tomatoes and lemons are acidic with pH levels of four and two respectively. On the other hand, the likes of eggs and broccoli have pH levels of eight and nine respectively. This shows how tomatoes and lemons are extremely acidic, while eggs and broccoli are basic. Water, however has a pH level of seven, which makes it neutral (neither acidic nor basic).

Sorenson died on February 12 in 1939.

  • Published Date: May 29, 2018 9:04 AM IST