What is a base in chemistry? Basic substances react to aqueous solutions by accepting protons, giving away electrons, or releasing hydroxide ions. They neutralize acids by reacting with hydrogen ions to form salts and water. A base that dissolves in water is also known as an alkali.
Gilbert Newton Lewis (1875-1946) was an American physical chemist whose concept of electron pairs led to modern theories of chemical bonding. His concept of acids and bases was another fundamental contribution.