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1. Maths
a. having a particular property in common; equal
b. (of two equations or inequalities) having the same set of solutions
c. (of two sets) having the same cardinal number
2. Maths Logic (of two propositions) having an equivalence between them
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



The equivalent of an element is the weight, expressed in carbon mass units, that will combine with or replace one atomic weight of hydrogen or one-half atomic weight of oxygen.

The equivalent of an acid is equal to the acid’s molecular weight divided by its alkalinity (number of hydrogen ions).

The equivalent of a base is equal to the base’s molecular weight divided by its acidity (number of hydroxyl groups).

The equivalent of a salt is equal to the molecular weight of the salt divided by the sum of the charges of the cations or anions forming the salt.

In oxidation-reduction reactions, the equivalent of an oxidizing agent is equal to the quotient obtained as a result of dividing the agent’s molecular weight by the number of electrons obtained by the atom or atoms of the reduced element. The equivalent may vary, depending on the number of electrons accepted by the oxidizing agent.

The concept of equivalent is widely used in the stoichiometric calculations of chemical reactions.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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