posted by Anonymous on .
What is the difference between a strong electrolyte and a weak electrolyte? Explain what makes an electrolytic solution strong or weak.
Do you look at the pH to determine between a strong electrolyte and a weak one?
No. A strong electrolyte, by definition, is one that ionizes 100%; i.e., AB becomes A ions and B ions and there are NO AB molecules floating around in the solution.
A weak electrolyte, by definition, is one that ionizes less than 100%; i.e., AB becomes some A ions, some B ions (the number depends upon the percent ionization) and there are still some AB molecules floating around in the solution along with the ions.
Students often get confused by this terminology. They often equate a strong acid, for example, as one that eats a hole in the flesh or in clothes but that isn't true. We can have a dilute solution of a strong acid or a concentrated solution of a weak acid. Strong and weak acids, bases, and electrolytes, all follow this same terminology.