Definition: the ultimate standard of reference in all pH determinations, limited and technically difficult to use, consisting of a piece of spongy platinum black partly immersed in a solution in a small glass tube; the tube above the solution is filled with hydrogen gas that is bubbled through the solution and absorbed by the platinum; the electrode thus measures the potential between H2 and H+, the “standard” potential of which (1 atmosphere, 1 molar) is taken as zero; hence, the hydrogen electrode potential measures [H+] or pH.
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