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The Chemical Basis of Life Campbell Biology concepts and connections


A substance that increases the hydrogen ion concentration in a solution. 0 on pH scale is a strong acid.

Acid Precipitation

Rain, snow or fog that is more acidic than pH 5.2.


The attraction between different kinds of molecules.

Aqueous Solution

A solution in which water is the solvent.


The smallest unit of matter that retains the properties of an element.

Atomic Mass

The total mass of an atom; also called atomic weight. Given as a whole number, the atomic mass approximately equals the mass number.

Atomic Number

The number of protons in each atom of a particular element.


A substance that decreases the hydrogen ion concentration in a solution. 14 is a strong base on the pH scale.


A chemical substance that resists changes in pH by accepting hydrogen ions from or donating hydrogen ions to solutions.

substance that minimize changes in pH.

Chemical Bonds

An attraction between two atoms resulting from a sharing of outer-shell electrons or the presence of opposite charges on the atoms. The bonded atoms gain complete outer electron shells.

Chemical Reaction

The making and breaking of chemical bonds, leading to changes in the composition of matter.


The sticking together of molecules of the same kind, often by hydrogen bonds.


a substance consisting of two or more different elements combined in a fixed ratio.

Covalent Bond

A strong chemical bond in which two atoms share one or more pairs of outer-shell electrons.


A subatomic particle with a single negative electrical charge. One or more electrons move around the nuclues of an atom.


The attraction of a given atom for the electrons of a covalent bond.

Electron Shells

An energy level representing the distance of an electron from the nucleus of an atom.


A subsctance that cannot be broken down to other substance by ordinary chemcial means.

Evaporative Cooling

occurs because the molecules with the greates energy leave.

First shell of an atom can contain how many electrons?


Fourth shell of an atom can contain how many electrons?



The amount of energy associated with the movement of atoms and molecules in a body of matter.

Hydrogen Bonds

A type of weak chemical bond formed when the partially positive hydrogen atom participating in a polar covalent bond in one molecule is attracted to the partially negative atom participating in a polar covalent bond in another molecule (or in another region of the same molecule).


An atom or group of atoms that has gained or lost one or more electrongs, thus acquiring a charge.

Ionic Bond

A chemical bond resulting from the attraction between oppositely charged ions.


One of several atomic forms of an element, each with teh same number of protons but different number of neutrons.

Mass Number

The sum of the number of protons and neutrons in an atom's nucleus.


Anything that occupies space and has mass.


Two or more atoms held together by covalent bonds.


A subatomic particle having no electrical charge, found in the nucleus of an atom.

Nonpolar Covalent Bonds

A covalent bond in which electrons are shared equally between two atoms of similar electronegativity.


An atom's central core, containing protons and neutrons.

The nucleus of an atom contains...??

Neutrons and protons.

Ocean Acidification

Decreasing pH of ocean waters due to absoprtion of excess atmospheric CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels.

pH Scale

A scale we used to describe how acidic or basic a solution is. The scale ranges from 0-14, 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic. 7 is neutral (pure water)

Polar Covalent Bond

A covalent bond between atoms that differ in electronegativity. The shared electrons are pulled closer to the more electornegative atom, making it slightly negative and the other atom slightly positive.

Polar Molecule

A molecule containing polar covalent bonds and having an unequal distribution of charges.


An ending material in a chemical reaction.


A subatomic particle with a single positive electrical charge, found in the nucleus of an atom.

Radioactive Isotope

An isotope whose nucleus decays spontaneously, giving off particles and energy.


A starting material in a chemical reaction.


A compound resulting from the formation of ionic bonds; also called an ionic compound.

Second shell of an atom can contain how many electrons?



A substance that is dissolved in a solution.


A liquid that is a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances.


The dissolving agent of a solution. Water is the most versatile solvent known.

Surface Tension

A measure of how difficult it is to stretch or break the surface of a liquid. Water has a high surface tension because of the hydrogen bonding of surface molecules.


Measures the intensity of heat.

Third shell of an atom can contain how many electrons?


Trace elements

an element that is essential for life but required in extremely minute amounts.

What 4 elements make up about 96% of living matter?

Oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen.

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