pH Scale

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In this online interactive simulation, learners will test the pH of liquids like coffee, spit, and soap to determine whether each is acidic, basic, or neutral. Learners will visualize the relative number of hydroxide ions and hydronium ions in a solution, and they can switch between logarithmic and linear scales. Learners will also investigate whether changing the volume or diluting with water affects the pH. They can experiment by designing their own liquids! This activity includes an online simulation, sample learning goals, a teacher's guide, and translations in over 30 languages.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Simulation

Arabic, Basque, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Vietnamese

Materials List (per student)

  • Computer with online access, current Java software, and mouse


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Elements and Periodic Table
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • use mouse

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Adams, Wendy ; Barbera, Jack ; Langdon, Laurie ; Loeblein, Patricia ; Malley, Chris ; Paulson, Archie ; Perkins, Kathy

Source Collection

  • PhET Interactive Science Simulations


Funding Sources:

  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • National Science Foundation
  • Excellence Center of Science and Mathematics Education at King Saud University
  • O'Donnell Foundation