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General Chemistry Glossary

Even students studying in a distance learning program need definitions of chemistry terms. These terms cover different ideas and topics that chemistry students use on a daily basis. The following glossary contains some of the more important terms.

Acceleration - the speed at which an object's velocity changes.
Anion - negatively charged ion.
Area - the surface size of an object.
Atom - the smallest unit in an element, with a nucleus and electrons.
Atomic Number - number measuring the amount of protons an element has.
Base - neutral substance used in experiments.
Catalyst - a substance that increases the speed of a chemical process.
Cathode - electrode with reduced reactions.
Cations - positively charged ions.
Charge - the ability of an object to attract or repel.
Chemical Changes - anything that changes the structure of an object.
Combustion - the release of energy when something mixes with oxygen.
Compound - the chemically joining of two atoms.
Concentration - the total amount of an item in a particular space.
Covalent Bond - a bond caused by a shared electron.
Decay - the process of an element breaking down into another element.
Dense - a substance that's highly compact.
Density - the mass found in a single volume of an item.
Dissociation - the process of a compound breaking down into ions.
Effusion - the process of gas molecules moving through an opening.
Electrodes - conductive item that pushes electrons.
Electrolysis - the process of using electrical energy to change a structure.
Electromagnetic Spectrum - the wavelengths of light.
Electron - a negatively charged part of an atom.
Element- any substance that has only one category of atom.
Endothermic - the process of a substance absorbing heat.
Energy - a measurement that focuses on work ability.
Equilibrium - a consistent ratio between a substance and a reactant.
Force - any type of pressure that causes the acceleration of an item.
Free Electron - electron without a nucleus.
Frequency - number of times an item does the same thing in a set period of time.
Half Life - amount of time measuring the disintegration of an object into half its original size.
Intramolecular Forces - forces inside molecules that cause particles to attract and repel.
Ion - an atom with electrons added or removed.
Isotopes - elements with varying numbers of neutrons, but the same amount of protons.
Kelvin - unit measuring temperature.
Kinetic Energy - energy caused by velocity and mass.
Mass Number - number measuring the neutrons and protons found in an atom.
Mixture - the combination of different elements.
Molecular Mass - the mass of all elements in a substance.
Neutral - a substance without a charge.
Neutron - element of an atom without an electrical charge.
Nucleus - the center of an atom, holds the neutrons and protons.
Oxidation Reaction - a process that causes the loss of electrons in an object.
Particle - any unit found in matter.
Periodic Table - table listing the elements according to the amount of protons found in them.
Radioactive - a substance with certain properties that causes it to breakdown.
Solution - mixture containing a liquid and a solid.
Term - any item found in a chemical equation.
Velocity - the speed at which an object changes positions.

For more chemistry terms:

  • UNChem Glossary : lists common terms found in chemistry.
  • Chemistry : details the periodic table and other ideas found in chemistry.
  • Chemistry Tutorials : gives tutorials and lessons on different ideas and concepts in chemistry.

Students studying chemistry from online colleges will find these terms helpful. Since they can't ask the professor questions right away, it gives them a guideline to use. Those studying chemistry in other forms will also find it helpful as it contains some of the more important terms.

Published: 2010-01-20