Glossary of Basic Biochemistry

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What are the four forms of energy?
chemical, electrical, mechanical, radiant
define matter
anything that has mass and occupies space
what are the three states of matter? define each
solids have a definite shape and volume
liquids have a definite volume but conform to the shape of their container
gases have neither shape nor volume
Energy stored in the bonds of chemical substances
chemical energy
energy resulting from the movement of charged particles
electrical energy
energy directly involved in moving matter
mechanical energy
energy that travels in waves
radiant energy
what are elements?
unique substances that can not be broken down into simpler substances by ordinary chemical methods
How many elements have been discovered?
what four elements make up the human body?
carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen
the smallest particle that retains its special properties
what is the electrical charge of a particle a measure of?
its ability to attract or repel other charged particles
name nine lesser elements in the body
calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, magnesium, iodine, iron
negatively charged subatomic particle
positively charged subatomic particle
uncharged, or neutral subatomic particle
For any atom, the number of protons and electrons must be ____.
what particles are located in the nucleus of an atom?
proton and neuron
The ____ and the_____ have to be equal within an atom.
proton and electron
What is the atomic number equal to?
the number of protons an atom contains
the sum of the the protons and neurons contained in an atom's nucleus
atomic mass number
what is the number to the upper left of the atomic symbol?
the atomic mass number
what is an isotope?
an atom that has the same number of protons and electrons, but vary in the number of neutrons
What is an atom's atomic weight approximately equal to?
the mass number of its most abundant isotope
the process of atomic decay
unstable isotopes
what are molecules?
the chemical combination of two or more atoms
combination of two or more different atoms
what is the valence shell?
the atom's outermost layer
What is the fixed region of space around the nucleus?
electron shell (energy levels)
What is the "rule of 8"?
atoms interact in such a way that they will have 8 electrons in their valence shell
when in an atom considered inert?
when the valence shell contains 8 electrons
what happens when an atom has less than 8 electrons in its valence shell?
atom will gain, lose, or share electrons with other atoms to reach a stable state
negatively charged ion
positively charged ion
define positive ion
An atom that has a positive electrical charge due to the loss of one or more electrons
define negative ion
An atom that has a negative electrical charge because it has more more electrons than protons
molecules in which atoms share electrons
covalent molecules
covalent bond
bonds that are sharing electrons in a way that each atom is able to fill its valence shell at least part of the time
define hydrogen bond
interaction formed between a hydrogen atom covalently bonded to an electronegative atom (such as oxygen or nitrogen) and a second electronegative atom that serves as the hydrogen bond acceptor
what is a synthesis reaction?
two or more atoms or molecules combined to form a larger, more complex molecule
Synthesis reactions underlie all ____ activities in body cells.
anabolic (constructive)
what is a decomposition reaction?
a molecule broken downinto smaller molecules, atoms, or ions
Decomposition reactions underlie all ____ processes in the body cells.
catabolic (destructive)
what are exchange reactions?
reactions involving both synthesis and decomposition reactions
What are four important properties water has for the body?
high heat capacity, solvent properties, chemical reactivity, cushioning
what salts are essential for nerve impulses?
potassium and sodium
substances that conduct an electrical current in solution

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