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an educated assumption or guess concerning the results of a given experiment

dependent variable

something that relies on other factors in the experiment

independent variable

stands alone and isn't changed by other variables one is trying to measure

control group

a baseline group used to reference back to when comparing results of experiment to original group

experimental group

group exposed to the variable of the experiment

scientific theory

a concept that explains scientific observations

positive feedback loop

a closed system, response of the system relies on the feedback signal to function

negative feedback loop

feedback that reduces the output of a system


caused or produced by humans


the smallest component of an element; a very small particle of matter


consists of one or more similar atoms in an element; in a compound it is two or more different atoms


cannot be separated into simpler substances by chemical means


composed of two or more parts or elements


location: nucleus
charge: positive


location: nucleus
charge: none


location: valence shells
charge: negative

atomic number

the number of protons in the nucleus of an element

mass number

total number of neutrons and protons in a particular atom


a form of a given element that has the same number of protons, but a different number of neutrons


formed by the loss or gain of one or more atoms
cation- positive ion
anion-negative ion


hydrogen ion concentration in gram atoms per liter
acids: 1-6
neutral: 7
bases: 8-14

organic compound

any blend of carbon and another element

inorganic compound

any blend that does not contain carbon


cellular organism that has: no nuclear membrane, no organelles in the cytoplasm except ribosomes, and genetic material is in the form of single continuous strands forming coils or loops


specialized organelles in cytoplasm, membrane bound nucleus enclosing genetic material organized into chromosomes, system of division by mitosis or meiosis


basic physical unit of heredity; linear sequence of nucleotides along segment of DNA, which provides instructions for synthesis of RNA, translates into proteins, > character


threadlike bodies consisting of chromatin that carry genes in a linear order

Law of Conservation of Matter

matter cannot be created nor destroyed in an isolated system

radioactive isotopes

several species of the same chemical element with different masses whose nuclei are unstable, dissipate excess energy by emitting radiation in the form of alpha, beta, and gamma rays

half life

time required for 1/2 of the atoms of a given amount of a radioactive substance to disintegrate

nuclear fission

splitting of an atomic nucleus into almost equal parts, usually with an associated release of energy

nuclear fusion

two nuclei combine to form a nucleus with the release of energy

kinetic energy

energy of a body or system with respect to the motion of the body or system

potential energy

energy of a body or system with respect to its position


form of energy associated with the motion of atoms or molecules

1st Law of thermodynamics

when heat flows to or from a system, the system gains or loses an amount of energy equal to the amount of heat transferred
(heat added= incr. internal energy + external work by system)

2nd Law of thermodynamics

heat of itself never flows from a cold object to a hot object

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