Hanson, Allen L. Formerly, Department of Chemistry, Saint Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota.
Last reviewed:February 2018
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- Use of indicators
- Indicator range
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Organic compounds that change color with the acidity or basicity (pH) of solutions; also known as pH indicators. Indicators are weak organic acids or bases that exist in more than one structural form (tautomers), of which at least one form is colored. Intense color is desirable so that very little indicator is needed; the indicator itself will thus not affect the acidity of the solution to which it is added. Indicators do not precisely measure pH, but change color over a pH range (Fig. 1). See also: Acid and base; pH; Tautomerism
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