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125 terms

Science Glossary Flashcards (Garcia)

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abiotic
a nonliving physical and chemical attribute of a system; e.g. light, temperature, wind patterns, rocks, soil, pH, pressure, etc. in an environment
cell
the basic structural, functional, and biological unit of all organisms
electrical energy
this results from the change in motion or position of electrical charges
gas
molecules that are only weakly attracted to each other and are free to move about in space
immune
having protection (antibodies) against disease -causing agenets
meiosis
the process that occurs in sex cells (sperm and egg) in which the number of chromosomes is reduced by half
orbit
curved path followed by a planet, moon, or satellite as it revolves around an object
qualitative
involving quality or kind, recorded with a characteristic that cannot be expressed in numbers
year
the time it takes for a planet to complete one revolution around a star
sex cell
reproductive cell
theory
a well-tested explanation of some aspect of the natural world
balanced forces
equal force acting on an object in opposite directions, the object does not move
comet
a small body composed of ice and rock that travels in an elliptical orbit around the sun
data table
a framework for organizing data measured or recorded from an experiment
evolution
change over time
hibernation
a state in which metabolism slows in certain animals reducing their need for food and protecting them from cold
luar eclipse
event in which the shadow of Earth falls on the moon
Newton
the unit for force (symbol N)
plate boundries
the edges where two or more tectonic plates meet; may be convertgent, divergent, or transform
tide
periodic rise and fall of water level due to gravitational attraction of the sun and the moon acting on Earth
Ring of Fire
an area associated with plate boundaries around the Pacific Ocean that has a large amount of volcanic and earthquake activity
spontaneous generation
theory that life began from nonliving matter
axis
1. a straight line about which a body or a geometric figure may rotate 2. a straight line with respect to which a body or figure is symmetrical
condensation
process of a gas changing to a liquid, such as water vapor into water droplets
deposition
when sediments are carried by wind or water and are deposited in a new location
food web
all of the interactive feeding relationships by which energy and nutrients are transferred between organisms in a community
igneous rock
forms as molten rock cools and becomes solid
matter
anything that has mass and takes up space
moon phases
the change in the sunlit area of one celestical body (the moon) when viewe from another celestial body (Earth)
producer
any organism such as a plant or protist that is able to make food through photosynthesis or chemosynthesis
screw
a simple machine consisting of an inclined plane wrapped around a central bar
temperature
average kinetic energy (movement) of molecules in an object
apparent brightness
measure of a star's light observed or received at a certain position (apparent magnitude)
boiling point
temperature at which a liquid becomes a gas
decomposer
an organism that eats dead or decaying matter
energy transformation
process of changing one form of energy to another
global warming
the gradual increase of the temperature of Earth's lower atmosphere as a result of the increase in greenhouse gases
lithosphere
the solid, outer layer of the Earth that consists of the crust and the rigid upper part of the mantle
net force
the combination of all forces acting on an object
population
group of organisms of the same species living and reproducing in a particular geographic region
wedge
simple machine that is thick at one edge and tapered to a thin edge at the other for insertion in a narrow crevice
sample size
number of individuals in the experimental and control groups
substance
an object that has mass and occupies space
air resistance
friction experienced by objects moving through air
chemical property
property that changes the chemical nature of matter when in the presence of other substances or conditions; e.g. heat of combustion, ractivity with water, pH, electromotive force
digestive system
body organs responsible for getting food into and out of the body and for making use of food
greenhouse gas
gas such as carbon dioxide or methane which contribues to potential climate change
marine
moist air mass originating over water
nocturnal
an organism that is active at night
radiation
energy transfer without direct contact, as in the transport of heat from the sun to Earth
ultraviolet
electromagnetic waves with frequencies higher than visible light, but lower than x-rays
respiratory system
the system by which oxygen gets taken into the body and an exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place
star
a celestial body made of hot gases in which nuclear fusion occurs and from which energy is radiated
atmospheric pressure
the weight of the atmosphere pressing on the surface of Earth
chloroplast
a green structure of plant cells and other organisms in which food is made by photosynthesis
dependant variable
the factor measured or observed to obtain results (sometimes referred to as the responding variable), usually graphed on the y-axis
enerygy pyramid
a graphical representaiton showing the flow of energy through an ecosystem
inertia
the resistance of an objec to a change in the speed or direction of its motion
media (medium)
an intervening substance, such as air, through which a force acts or an effect is produced
organic
1. describes compounds containing the element carbon 2. coming from an organism 3. food from an animal or plant that has been raised without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, etc.
pollination
the process in which pollen is transferred from the male to the female part of ht flower or cone
volume
amount of space occupied by an object
rotation
the turning of an object on its central axis
survival of species
the theory that individuals in a population best able to obtain and use resources will survive and reproduce; i.e. survival of fittest
bacteria
microscopic, single-celled organisms that possess a prokaryotic type of cell structure
compaction
sediments pressed together by gravity and their own weight
dissolve
to change from a solid to a dispersed form in fluid
fossil fuels
fuel derived from ancient organic remains; e.g. peat, coal, crude oil, natural gas
hypothesis
a testable explanation for an observation or scientific problem
mean
one of the measures of central tendancy (average); the sum of numbers in a set of data divided by the number of pieces of data
nuclear energy
1. the energy released by a fission or fusion reaction 2. the binding energy of the atomic nucleus
precipitation
any form of water that falls from the clouds; e.g. rain, snow, hail, sleet
weathering
process by which materials change when exposed to conditions at or near Earth's surface
sexual reproduction
producing a new generation by the combining male and female sex cells
tectonic plates
extremely large pieces of lithosphere (Earth's crust)
astronomy
the scientific study of objects and their properties outside Earth's atmosphere
conclusion
a summation of what is learned from an experiment
electron
a negatively charged subatomic particle that resides outside (but is bound to) the nucleus of an atom
evidence
facts or signs that help one to form an opinion based on observations
hydrosphere
all wateell as on Earth; in the atmosphere as well as in oceans, lakes, glaciers, rivers, streams, and underground reservoirs
melting point
when heat is being added, the temperature at which a solid becomes a liquid
nonrenewable resource
a resource that forms at a rate that is much slower than the rate at which it is consumed; e.g. oil
pollutants
substances which harm the environment; e.g. smoke, pesticides, litter
unbalanced force
a nonzero net force, which changes an object's motion
sediment load
the amount of sediments a stream can carry
species
a group of organisms that are capable of breeding to produce fertile offspring
average speed
the total distane divided by the total time
community
an ecological unit composed of groups of organisms or a population of different species occupying a particular area
diverge
when plate boundries move away from each other
fertilization
fusion of gametes to produce a new organism of the same species
imbalance
when things are not equal
light
a form of electromagnetic energy that travels in waves through space and can be seen when it interacts with matter
natural selection
1. the process by which individuals that are better adapted to their environment survive and reproduce more successfully than less well adapted individuals 2. a theory to explain the mechanism of evolution
planet
any large natural, spherical object that revolves around a star
weight
the force of gravity exerted on an object's mass
response
an action following a stimulus
solid
substance with definite shape and volume, the atoms are packed tightly together in a regular pattern with little movement
biological diversity
the range of natural variety of species in an ecosystem
conservation of mass
the principle by which matter is neither created nor destroyed when it undergoes a chemical reaction
cytoplasm
the material between the nuclear and cell memberanes; icludes fluid, organelles, and various membranes
acid rain
precipitation containing acids that forms in the atmosphere when industrial gas emissions (especially sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides) combine with water
circulatory system
this system consists of the heart and a closed system of vessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries) which provide a continuous flow of blood to your body, supplying the tissues with oxygen and nutrients
element
one of the known chemical substances that cannot be broken down further without changing its chemical properties
genotype
the genes that an organixm possesses for a particular trait-genotype is not just the expressed gene; instead, it includes any recessive genes masked by the dominant gene of a coded pair
kinetic energy
energy of motion
momentum
a quantity defined as the product of the mass and velocity of an object
photosynthesis
chemical process in which a plant cell or protist uses energy from sunlight along with carbon dioxide and water to produce food (glucose) and oxygen
seasons
periodic changes in climate due to Earth's position relative to the sun
system
1. a group of related objects 2. a group of organs working together
adaptation
a characteristic that helps an organism survive in its environment or reproduce
continental drift
the gradual movement of continents by tectonic plates under Earth's surface which causes land masses to move toward or away from one another
ecosystem
the interacting system of a biological community and its non-living environmental surroundings
food chain
a sequence of organisms within a community, each of which uses the next, lower member of the sequence as an energy source
gravity
the force of attraction between all masses in the universe
locomotion
self-propelled movement
mass
a measure of the amount of matter in an object
molecule
smallest particle of a substance that retains all the properties of the substance and is composed of one or more atoms
property
special quality or featrue of a substance or an organism that may be used for identification
radioactive
a substance with an unstable atomic nucleus that loses energy by emitting particles or electromagnetic waves
spring scale
tool used to measure force or weight
toxic
having the affect of poison
atom
the smallest particle of an element that can exist either alone or in combination
biome
classification of certain physical and chemical characteristics of an environment, such as tundra, grassland, etc.
biosphere
the part of the world in which life can exist
cell theory
theory that all known living things are made up of cells, the cell is the structural and functional unit of all living things, and all living cells come from pre-existing cells