The neutralization of acids by bases affords many illustrations, known even before the atomic theory, of the truth of the statement.
Andrews, for example, found that when a series of acids were under similar conditions used to neutralize a given amount of a base, the quantity of heat evolved on the neutralization was the same in all cases.
Hess, from his work, arrived at the converse conclusion, that when a series of bases were used to neutralize a given amount of an acid, the heat of neutralization was always the same.
Silbermann, whose chief theoretical achievement was the recognition that the heat of neutralization of acids and bases was additively composed of two constants, one determined by the acid and the other by the base.
Represents the heat of neutralization of one gramme-equivalent of caustic soda with nitric acid, each in dilute aqueous solution before being brought into contact.
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