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Zumdah; Sixth Edition

Scientific method

the process of studying natural phenomena, involving observations, forming laws and theories, and testing of theories by experimentation


a quantitative description that includes both a number and a unit


a proposed explanation for an observation


a set of tested hypotheses that gives an overall explanation of some natural phenomenon



natural law

a statement that expresses generally observed behaviour

law of conservation of mass

mass is neither created or destroyed

SI system

International System of units based on the metric system and units derived from the metric system


the quantity of matter in an object


the force exerted on an object by gravity


the characteristic that any measurement involves estimates and cannot be exactly reproduced

significant figures

the certain digits and the first uncertain digit of a measurement


the agreement of a particular value with the true value


the degree of agreement among several measurements of the same quantity; the reproducibility

random error

an error that has an equal probability of being high or low

systematic error

an error that always occurs in the same direction


the material of the universe

states of matter

the three different states of matter - solid, liquid, gas

homogeneous solution

an equilibrium system where all reactants and products are in the same phase

heterogeneous solution

an equilibrium involving reactants and/or products in more than one phase


a homogeneous mixture

pure substance

a substance with constant composition

physical change

a change in the form of the substance, but not in its chemical composition: chemical bonds are not broken


a method for separating the components of a liquid mixture that depends on differences in the ease of vaporization of the components


a method for separating the components of a mixture containing a solid and a liquid


the general name for a series of methods for separating mixtures by employing a system with a mobile phase and a stationary phase

paper chromatography

Employs a strip of porous paper such as filter paper as the stationary phase


a substance with constant composition that can be broken down into elements by chemical processes

chemical change

the change of substances into other substances through a reorganization of atoms


a substance that cannot be decomposed into simpler substances by chemical or physical means

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