The Physicochemical approach to Acid-Base
The physicochemical approach to acid-base is still controversial, thirty years down
the line. This is silly, as the simple idea that one should examine all of the relevant
independent variables (and the equations governing them) antedates Peter Stewart.
The 'traditional approach' limps by focussing on just one equation (transformed into
the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation) and ignores some of the independent variables
contributing to pH. No amount of rhetoric can avoid this fact.
Here's our tiny contribution ...
- Try out the Java applet that I've created based on Stewart's
work. You'll probably need to set aside a few hours to work through the entire page.
- Here's a more traditional approach which many find
useful for anaesthetic (and other) exams. We're glad to say that
groundbreakers like Rinaldo Bellomo are leading the way in promoting the more rational
- And in a lighter vein, here's a note on both approaches by Jaishen Rajah!
- Finally, here's a useful precis by Jon Waters.
Paul Elbers acquired the rights for Stewart's book from
Peter Stewart's widow, and has put the entire text of
Stewart's book onto the web at AcidBase.org.
Unfortunately, it doesn't read that well without the pictures :-(
The good news is that
Paul has now released a new version of Peter Stewart's classic book, with a lot of new material from
current enthusiasts. Details are available on the acidbase.org website.
We were rather chuffed to see that the American Thoracic Society (whom we hold in great
respect) saw fit to include our website in their Best of the Web
section on acid base. You may wish to visit their article, not necessarily because it references our pages,
but because you can find other acid base sites of value there!
If you want to
download and run the applet on your computer while off-line,
you will need to:
- Make a directory called (for example) c:\ionz ;
- Save my Stewart tutorial to this
directory (In most browsers you can do this by clicking on File
and then Save As );
- Save the following files in the same directory :
(Click or right click on each of the files in turn to download them).
- While offline, open your browser and type in the
address where you saved the tutorial
(e.g. c:/ionz/Stewart.htm ).