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Acid rain: Rainwater with a pH of less than 5.7 is acid rain.
It is caused by the gases NO2 (from car exhaust
fumes) and SO2 (from the burning of fossil fuels)
dissolving in rain. Acid rain kills fish, kills trees, and destroys buildings
Acid: An acid is a proton donor. It turns litmus red.
Activity Series: The activity series is a list of metals in order
of decreasing reactivity.
Alkali metals: These are the elements in group one in the periodic
Alkaline earth metals: These are the elements in group two in
the periodic table.
Alloy: An alloy is a mixture of metals. Bronze is an example of
an alloy it is formed from copper and tin.
Atom: An atom is the smallest part of an element, which can exist.
Atomic number: The atomic number of an atom is the number of protons in the nucleus of the atom.
Base: A base is a proton acceptor. It turns litmus blue.
Capillarity: This is the rising of liquids up a narrow tube.
Chemical change: A chemical change is one in which there is a
new substance formed.
Cobalt chloride paper: This paper is used to test for water. If
water is present it changes colour from blue to pink.
Combustion: Combustion is also called burning. This is the combining
of a substance with oxygen.
Compound: A compound is a substance made up of two or more elements
Corrosion: Corrosion is an undesired process where a metal is
converted to one of its compounds, e.g. rusting.
Covalent bond: A covalent bond is a force of attraction between two atoms as a result of their sharing of electrons.
Distillation: The vaporisation of a liquid by heating and then
the condensation of the vapour by cooling.
Dry cell: This is a battery in which the electrolyte is in the
form of a paste.
Electrode: An electrode is a conductor, which dips into an electrolyte
and allows the electrons to flow to and from the electrolyte.
Electrolysis: This is the production of a chemical change using
electricity. Electrolysis can be used to split up water into hydrogen
Electrolyte: An electrolyte is a substance which when dissolved
in water conducts electricity.
Electroplating: This is where a metal is covered with a layer
of another metal using electricity.
Element: An element is a substance, which cannot be split up into
simpler substances by chemical means.
Endothermic reaction: An endothermic reaction is a reaction that
takes in heat, e.g. adding water to ammonium chloride.
Exothermic reaction: An exothermic reaction is a reaction that gives out heat, e.g. burning of coal.
Fossil fuels: Fuels that were formed from the remains of plants
and animals that lived millions of years ago.
Fuel: A fuel is any substance that burns in oxygen to produce heat.
Halogens: These are the elements in group seven in the periodic
Hard water: This is water that finds it difficult to form lather with soap.
Immiscible liquids: These are liquids that do not mix to form
a solution, e.g. oil and water.
Indicator: An indicator is a substance, which shows by means of
a colour change if a substance is acidic or basic.
Ion Exchange: This is a method of removing hardness from water.
It replaces the positive ions that cause the hardness with H+ ions.
Ion: An ion is a charged atom or group of atoms, e.g. Na+.
Ionic bond: An ionic bond is a force of attraction that occurs between oppositely charged ions in a compound. It results from a transfer of electrons.
Joule: This is the unit of energy and work.
Malleable: Metals are malleable. This means they can be hammered
Mass number: The mass number of an atom is the number of protons
and neutrons in the nucleus of the atom.
Matter: Matter is anything which occupies space and has mass.
Miscible liquids: These are liquids that mix to form a solution,
e.g. alcohol and water.
Mixture: A mixture consists of two or more different substances
mingled together but not chemically combined.
Molecule: A molecule consists of two or more atoms chemically combined.
Neutralisation: This is the reaction between an acid and a base to give salt and water.
Octet rule: During bonding atoms tend to reach an electron arrangement
with eight electrons in the outermost shell.
Oxidation: Oxidation is the addition of oxygen or the losing of electrons.
pH scale: This is a scale from 0 to 14.
Permanent hardness: This is hardness in water that cannot be removed
by boiling. It is caused by calcium sulphate.
Physical change: A physical change is one in which there is no
new substance formed.
Products: These are the chemicals that are produced in a chemical reaction.
Reactants: These are the chemicals that react together in a chemical
Reduction: Reduction is the removal of oxygen or the gaining of electrons.
Salt: A salt is formed when the hydrogen of an acid is replaced
by a metal.
Saturated Solution: A solution, which contains as much solute
as it can hold at that temperature.
Solution: A solution is a mixture of a solute (usually a solid)
and a solvent (usually a liquid).
Suspension: A suspension is a mixture of a liquid and a finely divided insoluble solid.
Temporary hardness: This is hardness in water that can be removed
by boiling. It is caused by calcium hydrogencarbonate.
Titration: This is the process of adding one solution from a burette, to a measured amount of another solution to find out exactly how much of each is required to react.
Valency: The valency of an element is the number of electrons an atom of the element wants to gain, lose or share so as to have a full outer shell.