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Combination of atoms, or oppositely charged ions, of two or more different elements held together by attractive forces called chemical bonds
A grouping of various genes and associated proteins in plant and animal cells that carry certain types of genetic information
high through put economy
The situation in most advanced industrialized countries, in which ever-increasing economic growth is sustained by maximizing the rate at which matter and energy resources are used, with little emphasis on pollution prevention, recycling, reuse, reduction of unnecessary waste, and other forms of resource conservation
Maintenance of favorable internal conditions in a system despite fluctuations in external conditions.
Procedure a scientist uses to study some phenomenon under known conditions. Some experiments are conducted in the laboratory, but others are conducted in nature. The resulting scientific data or facts must be verified or confirmed by repeated observations and measurements, ideally by several different investigators
inductive reasoning
Using observations and facts to arrive at generalizations or hypotheses. It goes from the specific to the general and is widely used in science
Atom or group of atoms with one or more positive (+) or negative (-) electrical charges
frontier science
Preliminary scientific data, hypotheses, and models that have not been widely tested and accepted
Matter, energy, or information entering a system
energy efficiency
Percentage of the total energy input that does useful work and is not converted into low-quality, usually useless heat in an energy conversion system or process
Capacity to do work by performing mechanical, physical, chemical, or electrical tasks or to cause a heat transfer between two objects at different temperatures
chemical change
Interaction between chemicals in which there is a change in the chemical composition of the elements or compounds involved
gamma rays
A form of ionizing electromagnetic radiation with a high energy content emitted by some radioisotopes. They readily penetrate body tissues
atomic number
Number of protons in the nucleus of an atom
high quality energy
Energy that is organized or concentrated and has great ability to perform useful work. Examples are high-temperature heat and the energy in electricity, coal, oil, gasoline, sunlight, and nuclei of uranium-235
Chemical, such as hydrogen (H), iron (Fe), sodium (Na), carbon (C), nitrogen (N), or oxygen (O), whose distinctly different atoms serve as the basic building blocks of all matter. There are 92 naturally occurring elements. Another 26 have been made in laboratories. Two or more elements combine to form compounds that make up most of the worldUs matter
consensus science
Scientific data, models, theories, and laws that are widely accepted by scientists considered experts in the area of study. These results of science are very reliable
Complete set of genetic information for an organism
electromagnetic radiation
Forms of kinetic energy traveling as electromagnetic waves. Examples are radio waves, TV waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X rays, and gamma rays.
Coded units of information about specific traits that are passed on from parents to offspring during reproduction. They consist of segments of DNA molecules found in chromosomes
energy quality
Ability of a form of energy to do useful work. High-temperature heat and the chemical energy in fossil fuels and nuclear fuels are concentrated high-quality energy. Low-quality energy such as low-temperature heat is dispersed or diluted and cannot do much useful work
chain reaction
Multiple nuclear fissions, taking place within a certain mass of a fissionable isotope, that release an enormous amount of energy in a short time
A measure of the disorder or randomness of a system. The greater the disorder of a system, the higher its entropy; the greater its order, the lower its entropy
Organic compound of hydrogen and carbon atoms. The simplest hydrocarbon is methane (CH4), the major component of natural gas
feedback loop
Circuit of sensing, evaluating, and reacting to changes in environmental conditions as a result of information fed back into a system; it occurs when one change leads to some other change, which eventually reinforces or slows the original change
degradable pollutant
Potentially polluting chemical that is broken down completely or reduced to acceptable levels by natural physical, chemical, and biological processes
beta particle
Swiftly moving electron emitted by the nucleus of a radioactive isotope
biodegradable pollutant
Material that can be broken down into simpler substances (elements and compounds) by bacteria or other decomposers. Paper and most organic wastes such as animal manure are biodegradable but can take decades to biodegrade in modern landfills
critical mass
Amount of fissionable nuclei needed to sustain a nuclear fission chain reaction
Total kinetic energy of all the randomly moving atoms, ions, or molecules within a given substance, excluding the overall motion of the whole object. This form of kinetic energy flows from one body to another when there is a temperature difference between the two bodies. Heat always flows spontaneously from a hot sample of matter to a colder sample of matter. This is one way to state the second law of thermodynamics
deductive reasoning
Using logic to arrive at a specific conclusion based on a generalization or premise. It goes from the general to the specific
chemical formula
Shorthand way to show the number of atoms (or ions) in the basic structural unit of a compound. Examples are H2O, NaCl, and C6H12O6
inorganic compounds
All compounds not classified as organic compounds
Tiny particle moving around outside the nucleus of an atom. Each electron has one unit of negative charge (-) and almost no mass
Minute unit made of subatomic particles that is the basic building block of all chemical elements and thus all matter; the smallest unit of an element that can exist and still have the unique characteristics of that element
Amount of a chemical in a particular volume or weight of air, water, soil, or other medium
alpha particle
Positively charged matter, consisting of two neutrons and two protons, that is emitted as a form of radioactivity from the nuclei of some radioisotopes
Extent to which a measurement agrees with the accepted or correct value for that quantity, based on careful measurements by many people over a long time
first law of thermodynamics
In any physical or chemical change, no detectable amount of energy is created or destroyed, but in these processes energy can be changed from one form to another; you can't get more energy out of something than you put in; in terms of energy quantity, you can't get something for nothing (there is no free lunch). This law does not apply to nuclear changes, in which energy can be produced from small amounts of matter
Time needed for one-half of the nuclei in a radioisotope to emit its radiation. Each radioisotope has a characteristic half-life, which may range from a few millionths of a second to several billion years
high quality matter
Matter that is organized and concentrated and contains a high concentration of a useful resource

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