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CHEMICAL ELEMENTS AND COMPOUNDS -Matter consists of chemical elements in pure form and in combination called compounds -Life requires about 25 chemical elements ATOMS AND MOLECULES -Atomic structure determines the behavior of an element -Atoms combine by chemical bonding to form molecules -Weak chemical bonds play important roles in the chemistry of life -A molecule's biological function is related to its shape -Chemical reactions make and break chemical bonds


anything that takes up space and has mass


any substances that cannot be broken down to any other substance


a substance consisting of two or more elements in a fixed ratio

trace element

an element indispensable for life but required in extremely minute amounts


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


an electrically neutral particle found in the nucleus of an atom


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


a subatomic particle with a single negative charge; one or more electrons move around the nucleus of an atom

atomic nucleus

an atom's central core, containing protons and neutrons


a measure of mass for atoms and subatomic particles

atomic number

the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom, unique for each element and designated by a subscript to the left of the elemental symbol

mass number

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

atomic weight

the total atomic mass, which is the mass in grams of one mole of an atom


one of several atomic forms of an element, each containing a different number of neutrons and thus differing in atomic mass

radioactive isotope

an isotope (an atomic form of a chemical element) that is unstable; the nucleus decays spontaneously, giving off delectable particles and energy


the capacity to do work, to move matter against an opposing force

potential energy

the energy stored by matter as a result of its location or spatial arrangement

energy level, electron shell

the different states of potential energy for electrons in an atom/an energy level representing the distance of an electron from the nucleus of an atom

valence electron

the electron in the outermost electron shell

valence shell

the outermost energy shell of an atom. containing the valence electrons involved in the chemical reactions of that atom


the three dimensional space where an electron is found 90% of the time

chemical bond

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

covalent bond

a type of strong chemical bond in which two atoms share one pair of valence electrons


two or more atoms held together by covalent bonds

structural formula

a type of molecular notation in which the constituent atoms are joined by lines representing covalent bonds

molecular formula

a type of molecular notation indicating only the quantity of the constituent atoms

double covalent bond

a type of covalent bond in which two atoms share two pairs of electrons; symbolized by a pair of lines between the bonded atoms


the bonding capacity of an atom generally equal to the number of unpaired electrons in the atom's outermost shell


the attraction of the atom for the electrons of a covalent bond

nonpolar covalent bond

a type of covalent bond in which electrons are shared equally between two atoms of similar electronegativity

polar covalent bond

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


an atom that has gained or lost electrons, thus acquiring a charge


an ion with a positive charge, produced by the loss of one or more electrons


a negatively charged ion

ionic bond

a chemical bond resulting from the attraction between between oppositely charged ions

ionic compound, salt

compounds resulting from the formation of ionic bonds

hydrogen bond

a type of weak chemical bond formed when the slightly positive hydrogen atom of a polar covalent bond in one molecule is attracted to the slightly negative atom of a polar covalent bond in another molecule

van der Waals interaction

weak attractions between molecules or parts of molecules that are brought about localized charge flactuations


a starting material in a chemical reaction


an ending material in a chemical reaction

chemical equilibrium

in a reversible chemical reaction, the point at which the rate of the forward reaction equals the rate of the reverse reaction

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