52 terms

AP Enviro Chapter 2 Vocab Terms


Terms in this set (...)

anything that occupies space and has mass
a measure of the amount of matter an object contains
the smallest component of an element having the chemical properties of the element
any substance that cannot be broken down into simpler substances
a particle containing more than one atom
a molecule that contains more than one element
atomic number
the number of protons in the nucleus of a particular element
mass number
the total number of protons and neutrons in an element
atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons
radioactive decay
the spontaneous release of material from the nucleus
the time it takes for one-half of the original radioactic parent atoms to decay
covalent bonds
element tahat do not readily gain or lose electrons form compounds by sharing electrons
ionic bonds
the electrostatic attraction that binds oppositely charged ions together
hydrogen bond
weak chemical bond formed by the attraction of positively charged hydrogen atoms to other negatively charged atoms
polar molecule
a molecule where one side is more positive than the other side
surface tension
the tightness across the surface of water that is caused by the polar molecules pulling on one another
capillary action
tendency of water to rise in a thin tube
a substance that contributes hydrogen ions to a solution
a substance that contributes hydroxide ions to a solution
pH scale
a way to indicate the strength of acids and bases
chemical reactions
when atoms seperate from the molecules they are a part of or recombine with other molecules
law of conservation of matter
matter cannot be created nor destroyed; it can only change form
inorganic compounds
compounds that either a.) do not contain carbon or b.) contain carbon but only carbon bound to elements other than hydrogen
organic compounds
compounds that have carbon-carbon and carbon-hydrogen bonds
compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms
critical compounds of living organisms, playing roles in structural support, energy storage, internal transport, and defense against foreign substances
smaller biological molecules that do not mix with water
nucleic acids
organic compounds that are found in a living cells. Chains of these form DNA and RNA which store codes of genetic info
the smallest structural and functional component of organisms
the ability to to do work or transfer heat
electromagnetic radiation
a form of energy that includes visible light, gamma rays, e-rays, radio waves, ultraviolet heat, and infrared energy (heat)
the amount of energy used when a 1-watt light bulb is turned on for 1 second (which is a small amount)
energy/ time
potential energy
energy that is stored but has not been released yet
kinetic energy
the energy of motion
chemical energy
potential energy stored in chemical bonds
the measure of the average kinetic energy of a substance
first law of thermodynamics
just as matter cannot be created nor destroyed, energy is neither created nor destroyed
second law of thermodynamics
when energy is transformed, the quantity of energy remains the same but it's ability to do work diminishes
energy efficiency
the ratio of the amount of work that is done to the amount of energy that is introduced into the system in the 1st place
energy quality
the ease with which an energy source can be used for work
open system
when exchanged of matter occur across system boundaries
closed system
matter and energy exchanges across a system do not occur
additions to a given system
losses from a system
systems analysis
determining the outputs, inputs and changes in the system under various conditions
steady state
when inputs = outputs and the system in not changing over time
negative feedback loop
when a system responds the a change by returning to its original state ( or at least by decreasing the rate at which the change is occuring)
positive feedback loop
causes a system to change further in the same direction
adaptive management plan
a strategy that provides flexibilty so that managers can modify it as future changes occur