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water vapor

the invisible, gaseous form of water

groundwater

water that fills the cracks and pores in underground soil and rock layers

atom

smallest particle of an element that has the characteristics of that element; basic building block of all matter

element

a substance made up of only one kind of atom

compound

two or more elements that are chemically combined

polar molecule

a molecule that has electrically charged areas

surface tension

the tightness across the surface of water that is caused by the polar molecules pulling on each other

capillary action

the combined force of attraction among water molecules and with the molecules of surrounding materials

solution

a mixture that forms when one substance dissolves another

solvent

a substance that dissolves another substance, forming a solution

state

is a form of matter; solid, liquid, or gas

solid

state of matter with a definite shape and volume

liquid

state of matter that has no definite shape but has a definite volume

gas

state of matter with no definite shape or volume

melting

occurs when matter changes from its solid to its liquid state

boiling

occurs when matter changes from a liquid to a gas throughout the entire sample

evaporation

occurs when molecules at the surface of a substance change from a liquid to a gas state

condensation

occurs when a gas changes into a liquid state

freezing

occurs when a liquid changes into a solid state

water cycle

a continuous process by which water moves through the living and nonliving parts of the environment

transpiration

the process by which plants release water vapor through their leaves

precipitation

water that falls to Earth as rain, snow, sleet, or hail

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