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acid
a species that is a proton donor
activation energy
the minimum energy required to start a reaction by the breaking of bonds
addition polymer
a very long molecular chain, formed by repeated addition reactions of many unsaturated alkene molecules (monomers).
addition polymerisation
the process in which unsaturated alkene molecule (monomers) add on to a growing polymer chain one at a time to form a very long saturated molecular chain (the addition polymer).
addition reaction
a reaction in which a reactant is added to an unsaturated molecule to make a saturated molecule.
adsorption
the process that occurs when a gas or liquid solute is held to the surface of a solid or, more rarely, a liquid.
alicyclic hydrocarbon
a hydrocarbon with carbon atoms joined together in a ring structure.
aliphatic hydrocarbon
a hydrocarbon with carbon atoms joined together in straight or branched chains.
alkali
a type of base that dissolves in water forming hydroxide ions, OH-(aq) ions.
alkanes
the homologous series with the general formula CnH2n+2
alkyl group
an alkane with a hydrogen atom removed, e.g. CH3, C2H5; alkyl groups are often shown as R
amount of substance
the quantity whose unit is the mole. Chemists use amount of substance as a means of counting atoms.
anhydrous
a substance containing no water molecules
Anion
A negatively charged ion.
atom economy
(molecular mass of the desired product/ sum of molecular masses of all products) x100
atomic orbital
a region within an atom that can hold up to two electrons, with opposite spins.
atomic (proton) number (Z)
the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom
average bond enthalpy
the average enthalpy change that takes place when breaking by homolytic fission 1 mol of a given type of bond in the molecules of a gaseous species.
Avogadro constant
the number of atoms per mole of the carbon-12 isotope (6.02x10^23 mol^-1)
base
a species that is a proton acceptor.
biodegradable material
a substance that is broken down naturally in the environment by living organisms.
Boltzmann distribution
the distribution of energies of molecules at a particular temperature, usually shown as a graph.
bond enthalpy
the enthalpy change that takes place when breaking by homolytic fission 1 mole of a given bond in the molecules of a gaseous species.
carbanion
an organic ion in which a carbon atom has a negative charge
carbocation
an organic ion in which a carbon atom has a positive charge