An acid is a molecule or polyatomic ion that
contains hydrogen and reacts with water to
produce hydronium ions, H3O+.
This animation starts with the instant before
any reaction with water takes place. Note,
that the overall result is the transfer of a
proton, H+(aq), to a water molecule. This is
the Bronsted-Lowry definition of acids and
bases: an acid is a proton donor and a base
is a proton acceptor. In this case water acts
as the base.