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Glossary

accuracy the degree to which a measurement agrees with the true value.
acid a proton (H+, hydrogen ion) donor.
acid anhydrides organic compounds that are related to the carboxylic acids, with the general structural formula
of RCOOCOR´, for example ethanoic propanoic anhydride CH3COOCOC2H5. They can be thought of as being
made up of two carboxylic acids joined via a O link that replaces their OH groups.
acid dissociation constant, Ka, the equilibrium constant for an acid (HX) in aqueous solution:
[H+(aq)] [X−(aq)]
Ka =
[HX]
activation energy the minimum energy required for a successful collision, i.e. one that results in a reaction, to
take place between reacting particles.
active site the site on an enzyme molecule where the substrate binds and then reacts rapidly.
acyl chlorides reactive derivatives of carboxylic acids, in which the OH group in the acid is replaced by a Cl
atom. Examples include ethanoyl chloride, CH3COCl, and propanoyl chloride, CH3CH2COCl.
acylation the substitution of an acyl group, (CnH2n+1)CO , into an organic molecule; see Friedel–Crafts
reaction.
addition polymerisation the reaction in which unsaturated monomers, containing C C double bonds, react
together to form long-chain polymer molecules, e.g. when ethene forms poly(ethene).
addition reaction a reaction in which two reactant molecules combine to produce one product molecule (with
no other products), such as the addition reactions of alkenes.
aldehydes the homologous series of carbonyl compounds in which the >C O group is at one end of the
aldehyde molecule, shown in structural formulae as CHO, e.g. propanal, CH3CH2CHO.
aliphatic used to describe compounds with hydrocarbon chains (straight or branched) and cyclic compounds that
do not contain a benzene ring.
alkali a soluble base.
alkali metal the elements found in Group 1 of the Periodic Table.
alkaline earth metals the elements found in Group 2 in the Periodic Table.
alkanes the homologous series of saturated hydrocarbons, with the general formula CnH2n+1.
alkenes unsaturated hydrocarbons with a C C double bond, with the general formula is CnH2n.
alkyl groups saturated hydrocarbon groups derived from alkanes, with the general formula CnH2n+1, e.g. an
ethyl group, C2H5.
alkylation the substitution of an alkyl group, CnH2n+1, into an organic molecule; see Friedel–Crafts reaction.
allotrope different crystalline or molecular forms of the same element. For example, graphite and diamond are
allotropes of carbon with different crystalline forms, whereas oxygen (O2) and ozone (O3) are allotropes of
oxygen with different molecular forms.
alloy a mixture of two or more metals (or a metal with a non-metal, as in the case of steel).
amine the homologous series of organic compounds which can be thought of as derivatives of ammonia, NH3,
with its hydrogen atoms wholly or partially replaced by alkyl groups, e.g. a primary amine, CH3NH2; a secondary
amine, (CH3)2NH; a tertiary amine, (CH3)3N.
amphoteric oxides that can behave as both an acid and a base, for example aluminium oxide (Al2O3).
anhydrous ‘without water’; for example an anhydrous salt has no water of crystallisation in its structure.
anion a negatively charged ion.
antacid a basic compound used to neutralise excess acid in the stomach, e.g. magnesium hydroxide.
arenes hydrocarbons that contain one or more benzene rings.
Arrhenius equation an equation that can be used to calculate the activation energy of a reaction:
k = Ae−Ea/RT
where k is the rate constant, A is called the Arrhenius constant, Ea is the activation energy in J mol−1, R is the
gas constant, and T is the temperature in kelvin (K).
atom the smallest particle in an element that can be identified as that element, consisting of protons and
neutrons in a tiny, dense nucleus surrounded by electrons in energy levels or shells.
atom economy the percentage mass of the desired product in a reaction compared to the total mass of the
products formed.

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atomic orbital the space around the nucleus of an atom that can be occupied by a maximum of two electrons.
The orbitals make up the sub-shells in each energy level.
1
atomic mass unit (a.m.u.) 1 a.m.u. is  th the mass of an atom of carbon-12.
12
atomic number (proton number) the number of protons in an atom (which equals the number of electrons,
as atoms are neutral).
autocatalysis the process in which one of the products of a reaction acts as a catalyst for that reaction, so the
reaction speeds up as it progresses until the decreasing concentration of reactants takes effect.
average (mean) bond enthalpy a mean bond energy value quoted for a particular bond, e.g. a C Cl bond.
They are an approximation because the strength of a particular bond varies slightly in different compounds.
Avogadro constant (NA) the number of atoms per mole of atoms, i.e. 6.02 × 1023 mol−1.
azo dyes coloured aryl compounds containing the N N group.
base a proton (H+, hydrogen ion) acceptor.
bidendate ligands ions or molecules that can form two coordinate (dative) bonds with the central transition
metal ion. For example, H2NCH2CH2NH2 and OOCCOO− are bidentate ligands.
bleaching agent a substance that reacts with coloured substances/dyes making them paler or even white, e.g.
chlorine water.
Boltzmann distribution see Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution.
bond enthalpy (energy) the energy required to break 1 mole of a particular bond in 1 mole of gaseous
molecules.
Born–Haber cycle the enthalpy cycle that can be used to calculate the lattice energy of an ionic compound.
Brønsted–Lowry Theory states that acids are proton (H+) donors and bases are proton (H+) acceptors.
buckminsterfullerene the first fullerene (allotropes of carbon) discovered in 1985, C60 forms spherical
molecules, with delocalised electrons, around hexagonal rings as in graphite, arranged like the panels in a
football.
buffer solution a solution that can minimise changes in pH when small amounts of acid or base are added.
Most buffer solutions consist of either a weak acid and its conjugate base (such as ethanoic acid and ethanoate
ions, e.g. from sodium ethanoate) or a weak base and its conjugate acid (such as solutions of ammonia and
ammonium ions, e.g. from ammonium chloride).
Cahn-Ingold-Prelog (CIP) priority rules a set of instructions to follow when naming stereoisomers.
carbocation an alkyl group carrying a single positive charge on one of its carbon atoms (the C atom with just
three covalent bonds), e.g. +CH2CH3.
carbonyl compounds organic compounds made up of molecules that contain the >C O group.
carboxylic acids a homologous series of weak acids, with the COOH functional group at one end of their
molecules, e.g. ethanoic acid, CH3COOH.
catalyst a substance that increases the rate of a reaction but remains chemically unchanged itself at the end of
the reaction.
cation a positively charged ion.
cell diagram a shorthand representation of an electrochemical cell, showing the two half cells, e.g.
Pb(s)|Pb2+(aq)    Cu2+(aq)|Cu(s).
charge density the concentration of charge on a particle. For a constant charge, the charge density will
increase as the size of a particle decreases. For a constant size, the charge density will increase as the charge on
a particle increases.
chelation the substitution of monodentate ligands by polydentate ligands in a transition metal complex. The
polydentate ligands are known as chelating agents and the new complex formed is a chelate.
chiral centre a carbon atom with four different groups attached, called an asymmetric carbon, creating the
possibility of optical isomers (non-superimposable mirror image structures).
cisplatin the square planar complex of platinum used in the treatment of cancers, PtCl2(NH3)2.
closed system a system in which matter cannot be transferred in or out.
collision theory reactant particles will react only when their combined kinetic energy as they collide is sufficient
to overcome the activation energy of the reaction.
complementary base pairs in nucleic acids, bases are complementary to each other if they only form
hydrogen bonds between specific pairs. In the strands of DNA, adenine (A) always pairs with thymine (T), and
cytosine (C) always pairs with guanine (G).
complex ion a central transition metal ion that is surrounded by ligands that each donate one or more pairs of
electrons to the transition metal ion.

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condensation reaction an organic reaction in which two molecules combine in an addition reaction, followed
by the elimination of a small molecule, such as H2O or HCl.
conjugate pair an acid and its related base on the other side of an equilibrium equation. For example, when
ethanoic acid dissolves in water, the ethanoic acid molecule (acid) and the ethanoate ion (base) form a
conjugate pair.
control variables variables that are kept constant in an investigation to ensure a fair test is carried out.
coordinate bond (or dative bond) a covalent bond in which both electrons in the bond come from the same
atom.
coordination number the number of coordinate (dative) bonds formed by ligands to the central transition metal
ion in a complex.
coupling reaction when a diazonium ion reacts with an alkaline solution of phenol (or similar compound) to
make an azo-dye.
covalent bond a chemical bond formed by the sharing of pairs of electrons between two atoms.
cracking the process in which large, less useful hydrocarbon molecules are broken down into smaller, more
useful molecules.
cyanohydrin see hydroxynitrile.
cycloalkanes saturated hydrocarbons whose molecules form rings with the general formula CnH2n, e.g.
cyclohexane, C6H12.
dative bond (coordinate bond), a covalent bond in which both electrons in the bond come from the same atom.
dehydration a reaction in which a water molecule is removed from a molecule, e.g. in the dehydration of an
alcohol to give an alkene.
delocalised electrons electrons that are not associated with any particular atom – they can move between
three or more adjacent atoms in molecules, or throughout a giant structure in metals and graphite.
denaturation the process by which the 3D structure of a protein or other biological macromolecule is changed,
for example by relatively high temperatures, by the breaking of inter- and intra-molecular forces.
dependent variable the variable measured or observed to judge the effect of changing the independent
variable.
desulfurisation the removal of sulfur dioxide gas from waste gases, by basic compounds such as calcium
hydroxide or calcium carbonate, in industrial processes.
diaphragm cell one type of electrolytic cell used in industry to electrolyse brine.
diatomic a molecule made up of two atoms.
diazotisation the reaction between phenylamine and nitrous acid, HNO2, to give a diazonium salt. This is the
first step in making an azo dye.
dibasic acid an acid made up of molecules that contain two hydrogen atoms capable of being replaced metal or
ammonium ions to form salts. For example sulfuric(vi) acid, H2SO4, can react with bases to form
hydrogensulfates, such as NaHSO4, or sulfates, such as Na2SO4.
dimer a pair of molecules that effectively bond to each other to form ‘double units’. Examples, include carboxylic
acids, where the molecules are held to each other by hydrogen bonds.
dipeptide the product formed when two amino acids react together in a condensation reaction.
dipole a uneven distribution of charge within a molecule. One end of the molecule permanently carries a partial
positively charge and the other a partial negative charge.
dispersal forces see van der Waals’ forces.
displayed formula a drawing of a molecule that shows all the atoms and bonds within the molecule.
disproportionation a redox reaction in which one type of atom is simultaneously both reduced and oxidised in
the reaction.
dissociation the splitting up of a molecule into ions, for example, when HCl molecules dissolve in water, they
dissociate completely into H+(aq) and Cl−(aq) ions.
dissociation enthalpy (of a compound) the enthalpy change when one mole of a molecular compound is
atomised. This is an endothermic change as energy is needed to break all the bonds in a mole of molecules to
form its gaseous atoms.
disulfide bridge an S S bond formed between polymer chains, for example, disulfide bridges help to maintain
the tertiary structure of some proteins.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) a polymer consisting of a double helix made up of two sugar–phosphate chains
with nitrogenous bases attached to them. The sequence of bases along the strands of the double helix forms a
code that enables more DNA to be formed by replication.

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dot-and-cross diagram a diagram representing the arrangement of the outer shell electrons in an ionic
compound or a covalent element or compound. The electrons are shown as dots or crosses to distinguish which
atom they came from.
double covalent bond two shared pairs of electrons (four electrons in total) bonding two atoms together.
dynamic equilibrium in an equilibrium mixture, molecules of reactants are being converted to products at the
same rate as products are being converted to reactants.
electrochemical cell two half-cells connected electrically, for example by a salt bridge. When the poles of the
half-cells are joined by a wire, electrons flow between them, from the half-cell with the more negative Eo value to
the half-cell with the more positive Eo value.
electrochemical series a list of metal ion/metal standard electrode potentials getting more positive going down
the series.
electrolysis the breakdown of a compound into its elements by an electric current.
electrolyte a liquid, containing ions, that is broken down by an electron current.
electromotive force (e.m.f.) the maximum potential difference between two half cells, as measured by a
high-resistance voltmeter.
electron tiny, negatively charged subatomic particles found in orbitals around the nucleus. They have a
negligible mass (about 1/2000th of a proton’s mass).
electron affinity (first electron affinity) ΔHoea1 – the enthalpy change when 1 mole of electrons is added to
1 mole of gaseous atoms to form 1 mole of gaseous 1-ions under standard conditions; electron affinity (second
electron affinity) ΔHoea2 – the enthalpy change when 1 mole of electrons is added to 1 mole of gaseous 1-ions to
form 1 mole of gaseous 2-ions under standard conditions.
electronegativity the ability of an atom to attract the electrons in a covalent bond.
electronic configuration (electronic structure) a way of representing the arrangement of the electrons in
atoms showing the principal quantum shells, the sub-shells and the number of electrons in each sub-shell, e.g. the
electronic configuration of Na is 1s2 2s2 2p63s1.
electrophile an electron-deficient species that can act as an acceptor of a pair of electrons in an organic
mechanism.
electrophilic addition the reaction in which an alkene (unsaturated hydrocarbon) is attacked by an electrophile
at its electron-rich double bond, resulting in a saturated compound as the only product.
electrophilic substitution a reaction of the arenes in which an electron-deficient species acts as an electron-
acceptor, and takes the place of an atom or group of atoms bonded to a benzene ring.
elimination reaction a reaction in which a small molecule, such as H2O or HCl, is removed from an organic
molecule.
empirical formula the formula that tells us the simplest ratio of the different atoms present in a molecule.
enantiomers pairs of optically active, non-superimposable mirror image isomers.
end point the point in a titration where the reaction is judged to be complete.
endothermic reaction a reaction in which energy is absorbed from the surroundings; the enthalpy change is
positive.
energy levels (of electrons) also known as electron ‘shells’, these are the areas at various distances around the
nucleus in which electrons have a particular amount of energy. The energy of the electrons increases the further
the energy levels are from the nucleus.
enhanced greenhouse effect the increase in average temperatures around the world as a result of the
significant increase in the volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by human activities.
enthalpy change the enthalpy (energy) transferred in a chemical or physical change (symbol ΔH) under
constant pressure.
enthalpy change of atomisation ΔHoat; see standard enthalpy change of atomisation.
enthalpy change of hydration ΔHohyd; see standard enthalpy change of hydration.
enthalpy change of solution ΔHosol; see standard enthalpy change of solution.
enthalpy cycle a diagram that shows alternative routes between reactants and products. These cycles enable us
to calculate an unknown enthalpy change from other known enthalpy changes, using Hess’s Law.
enthalpy level diagram a diagram to represent the relative enthalpy of reactants and products.
enthalpy profile diagram a diagram showing the enthalpy change from reactants to products along the
reaction pathway that includes the activation energy.
entropy a measure of the disorder of a system. The system becomes energetically more stable the greater the
disorder. Entropy is increased by increasing the number of ways in which particles can be arranged and energy
can be distributed.
enzyme a protein molecule that is a biological catalyst. Most act on a specific substrate.

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equilibrium constant, Kc the constant, calculated as a ratio, for a reversible reaction (at a given temperature),
using the equilibrium concentrations of reactants and products. The concentration of each substance is raised to
the power of the number in front of that substance in the balanced chemical equation. Then the equilibrium
constant can be calculated as follows:
e.g. for 2HBr ⇋ H2 + Br2, Kc = [H2] × [Br2]/[HBr]2
Equilibrium Law (expression) a simple relationship that links Kc to the equilibrium concentrations of reactants
and products and the balanced chemical equation.
esterification the reaction between an alcohol and a carboxylic acid (or acyl chloride/acid anhydride) to produce
an ester and water.
exothermic reaction a reaction in which energy is released to the surroundings: the enthalpy change is
negative.
feasibility (of reaction) the likelihood or not of a reaction occurring when reactants are mixed. We can use
ΔGo or Eo values to assess the feasibility of a reaction.
Fehling’s solution an alkaline solution containing copper(ii) ions used to distinguish between aldehydes and
ketones. A positive test is one in which the clear blue solution gives a red/orange precipitate when warmed with
aldehydes, but no change is observed with ketones.
fermentation the breakdown of a substance by enzymes in yeast (or bacteria), for example, the breakdown of
glucose into ethanol and carbon dioxide in the absence of oxygen using yeast.
fragmentation the breaking up of an organic molecule into smaller parts in a mass spectrometer by
bombardment with electrons that break covalent bonds within the molecule.
free energy see Gibbs free energy.
free-radical a very reactive atom or molecule that has a single unpaired electron.
free-radical substitution the reaction in which halogen atoms substitute for hydrogen atoms in alkanes. The
mechanism involves steps in which reactive free-radicals of halogen atoms are produced in the presence of
ultraviolet light (initiation), regenerated (propagation) and consumed (termination).
Friedel–Crafts reaction the electrophilic substitution of an alkyl or acyl group into a benzene ring.
fuel cell a cell whose electrical energy comes directly from the energy stored in the chemicals in the cell, one of
which is oxygen.
fullerenes the group of allotropes of carbon with atoms arranged in cage-like structures, tubes or sheets.
functional group an atom or group of atoms in an organic molecule that determine the characteristic reactions
of a homologous series.
galvanised iron or steel coated in a thin layer of zinc to provide protection from rusting.
gas chromatography instrumental analysis technique use to separate a mixture of vapours, carried through the
instrument by an inert gas (the mobile phase), into its components on passing the mixture through a long,
narrow column filled with solid particles of the stationary phase.
gas constant, R the constant used in the ideal gas equation (PV = nRT).
gas–liquid chromatography (GLC) a separation technique in which a vaporised mixture travels with a carrier
gas through a column made of solid particles coated in a high boiling point solvent. Each component in the
mixture will take a different time to pass through the column.
GC/MS a technique in which a mass spectrometer is connected directly to a gas chromatography instrument to
identify the components in a mixture quickly and accurately.
general formula a formula that represents a homologous series of compounds using letters and numbers; e.g.
the general formula for the alkanes is CnH2n+2.
giant covalent structure (macromolecular structure) the structure of a substance that has a huge
three-dimensional network of covalent bonds between atoms throughout their entire structure.
giant metallic structure the huge 3-dimensional arrangement of metal cations in a ‘sea’ of delocalised
electrons, which can be used to explain the general properties of metals.
Gibbs free energy the energy change that takes into account both the enthalpy change and the entropy
change of a reaction. The change in Gibbs free energy (ΔG) indicates whether or not a reaction is feasible. If the
value of ΔG of reaction is negative, the reaction is feasible. The Gibbs free energy change of reaction is given by
the relationship:
ΔGo = ΔHo − TΔSosystem
global warming the increase in average temperatures around the world as a consequence of the huge increase
in the amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases produced by human activity.

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graphene an allotrope of carbon, arranged in graphite-like hexagons of carbon atoms, in sheets just one
atom thick.
half equation in a redox reaction, an equation showing either an oxidation or a reduction, including the
electrons transferred in the reaction.
half-life of a reaction (t½) the time taken for the concentration of the limiting reactant in a reaction to
decrease to half its value.
halide ions the 1− ions formed from the elements in Group 7(17), i.e. fluoride, F−, chloride, Cl−, bromide, Br−
and iodide, I−.
halogenoalkane (haloalkane) the homologous series of saturated organic compounds containing one or more
halogen atoms, e.g. 2-bromopropane, CH3CHBrCH3.
halogens The elements in Group 7 in the Periodic Table (or Group 17 in the longer version of the Periodic
Table).
Hess’s Law the total enthalpy change for a chemical reaction is independent of the route by which the reaction
takes place.
heterogeneous catalysis the type of catalysis in which the catalyst is in a different phase from the reactants.
For example, the solid iron catalyst in the Haber process where nitrogen gas reacts with hydrogen gas.
heterolytic fission the ‘unequal’ breaking of a covalent bond, in which one atom leaves with both electrons
from the bonding pair of electrons, forming a negative ion, whilst the atom at the other end of the bond
becomes positively charged.
high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) a separation technique in which a vaporised mixture
travels with a carrier gas under pressure through a column made of solid particles coated in a non-volatile liquid.
Each component in the mixture will take a different time to pass through the column.
Hofmann degradation the reduction of the length of a carbon chain by one carbon atom, achieved by reacting
an amide with bromine and a concentrated solution of sodium hydroxide.
homogeneous catalysis the type of catalysis in which the catalyst and reactants are in the same phase. For
example, sulfuric acid catalysing the formation of an ester from an alcohol and carboxylic acid.
homologous series groups of organic compounds with the same functional group, with successive members
differing from each other by a CH2 unit.
homolytic fission the ‘even’ breaking of a covalent bond, in which both atoms leave with one electron each
from the bonding pair of electrons.
hybridisation the merging of atomic orbitals so that each of the bonding orbitals formed are equivalent and at
the same energy level.
hydrated ions ions in aqueous solution that are surrounded by a sheath of water molecules.
hydrated salts salts that form crystals with water molecules bonded within their giant lattices, e.g. hydrated
copper(ii) sulfate, CuSO4.5H2O.
hydrocarbon a compound made up of carbon and hydrogen only.
hydrogen bond the strongest type of intermolecular force, formed between molecules having a hydrogen atom
bonded to one of the three most electronegative elements (F, O or N).
hydrolysis the breakdown of a compound by water (often speeded up in organic reactions by adding acid or
alkali).
hydroxynitrile an organic compound, also known as a cyanohydrin, containing both an OH and a CN
group, e.g. 2-hydroxypropanenitrile, CH3CH(OH)CN.
ideal (or perfect) gas a gas whose volume varies in proportion to the temperature and in inverse proportion
to the pressure, i.e. it obeys the Ideal Gas Law. Noble gases such as helium and neon approach ideal behaviour
because of their low intermolecular forces.
ideal gas equation an equation relating the volume of a gas to the temperature, pressure and number of moles
of gas. Also called the general gas equation:
PV = nRT
independent variable the variable that is changed systematically in an investigation to find out its effect on the
dependent variable.
infrared spectroscopy an analytical technique for identifying compounds based on the change in vibrations of
particular bonds in molecules when infrared radiation of specific frequencies is absorbed.
initiation step the first step in the mechanism of free-radical substitution of alkanes by halogens. It involves the
breaking of the halogen–halogen bond by ultraviolet light from the Sun.

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instantaneous dipole–induced dipole forces the temporary dipoles set up in all molecules will cause (induce)
dipoles to be set up in neighbouring molecules, thereby creating weak forces of attraction between molecules.
These intermolecular forces are referred to as van der Waals’, London or dispersal forces.
intermolecular forces the weak forces of attraction between molecules.
ion a charged atom, a charged group of atoms (as in polyatomic ions, such as CO32−) or a charged molecule.
ionic bond the electrostatic force of attraction between oppositely charged ions in a giant lattice.
ionic equation a chemical equation that only shows those particles that undergo a change in a reaction,
omitting any spectator ions. For example:
Mg(s) + 2H+(aq) Mg2+(aq) + H2(g)
ionic product of water, Kw the equilibrium constant for the ionisation of water:
Kw = [H+][OH−] (= 1.0 × 10−14 mol2 dm−6 at 298 K)
ionisation energy, ΔHi the energy needed to remove a mole of electrons from a mole of atoms of an element
in the gaseous state to form a mole of gaseous 1+ ions.
isomers organic molecules with the same molecular formula but different structural formulae or arrangements of
atoms in space.
isotopes atoms of an element with the same number of protons but different number of neutrons.
ketone homologous series of carbonyl compounds, formed by the oxidation of secondary alcohols, in which the
carbonyl group, >C O, is attached to two alkyl groups, e.g. pentan-2-one, CH3COCH2CH2CH3.
lattice (or giant structure) a structure of a regularly repeating 3-dimensional arrangement of ions, atoms or
molecules.
lattice enthalpy (or energy) see standard lattice enthalpy.
Lewis acid a species that accepts a pair of electrons (e.g. BF3) from a Lewis base.
Lewis base a species that donates a pair of electrons (e.g. NH3) to a Lewis acid.
ligand a molecule or ion with one or more lone pairs of electrons available to donate to a transition metal ion to
form a complex.
ligand substitution the reaction in which one or more ligands replace other ligands around the central metal
ion in a complex.
lone pairs (of electrons) non-bonding pairs of electrons in the outer shell of an atom.
London forces see van der Waals’ forces.
Lyman Series the spectral lines produced by electron transitions into the quantum shell nearest the nucleus (at
the lowest energy level).
Markovnikov’s Rule used to predict the major product in an alkene addition reaction, i.e. when an HX
molecule is added to an alkene, the H atom will bond to the carbon atom that already has more H atoms.
mass number (or nucleon number) the total number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom.
mass spectrometer an analytical instrument for finding the relevant isotopic abundance of elements and to
help identify unknown organic compounds from the fragmentation pattern on their mass spectrum.
Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution the line on the graph of number of molecules against molecular energy that
shows the distribution of energies of the molecules in a sample at a particular temperature.
mean bond enthalpy see average bond enthalpy.
mechanism the series of steps used to explain how a reaction takes place.
metalloid elements (or semi-metals) that have a low electrical conductivity at room temperature but conductivity
increases with increasing temperature. Metalloids are found near the dividing line between metals and non-metals
in the Periodic Table.
miscible describes liquids that dissolve (mix) well in each other; so they do not separate out into layers when
shaken and left to settle.
mobile (or moving) phase the solvent in the chromatography process, which moves through the column or
over the paper or thin layer.
molar mass the mass of one mole of substance in grams (unit is g mol−1).
mole the unit amount of substance. It is the amount of substance that has the same number of particles (atoms,
ions, molecules or electrons) as there are atoms in exactly 12 g of the carbon-12 isotope.
mole fraction the proportion of a component of mixture given in terms of the number of moles of that
component divided by the total number of moles of all the components in the mixture. Used in calculations to
find the partial pressure of gases when working out the equilibrium constant, Kp.
molecular formula the formula that tells us the actual numbers of each type of atom in a molecule.

Oxford University Press       Advanced Chemistry for You, Second Edition © Ryan Books Limited 2015 7
molecular ion the positive ion formed by the loss of a single electron from the original molecule in a mass
spectrometer. It supplies us with the relative molecular mass of a compound.
monobasic acid an acid made up of molecules that each contain one hydrogen atom capable of being replaced
metal or ammonium ions to form a salt. For example, nitric(v) acid, HNO3, can react with bases to form nitrates,
such as NaNO3.
monodendate (unidentate) ligands ions or molecules that can form only one coordinate (dative) bond with
the central transition metal ion. For example, water, ammonia and chloride ions are monodentate ligands.
monomers small, reactive molecules that react with other monomers to make long-chain molecules called
polymers.
multidendate (polydentate) ligands ions or molecules that can form more than two coordinate (dative) bonds
with the central transition metal ion. For example, EDTA4− is a multidentate ligand.
neutralisation the reaction between an acid and a base to form a salt.
neutron a sub-atomic particle found in the nucleus of an atom. It is a dense, neutral particle and has the same
mass as a proton.
nitration the substitution of the nitro group, NO2, into an organic molecule, e.g. the electrophilic substitution
of benzene using a nitrating mixture of concentrated nitric and sulfuric acids to form nitrobenzene, C6H5NO2.
nitriles the homologous series of organic compounds whose molecules end with a CN group, e.g.
propanenitrile, CH3CH2CN.
nitrogenous bases nitrogen-containing bases, such as those found in DNA. In DNA they are adenine (A),
guanine (G), thymine (T) and cytosine (C).
non-polar (molecule) a molecule that has an even distribution of charge.
nuclear fission the radioactive splitting of the nucleus of an atom.
nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy an instrumental technique used by organic chemists to
identify unknown compounds. The sample is subjected to radiowaves, some of which are absorbed by the nuclei
of 1H atoms or 13C atoms, producing characteristic NMR spectra.
nucleon number see mass number.
nucleophile an electron-rich species that can act as a donor of a pair of electrons.
nucleophilic addition the mechanism of the reaction in which a nucleophile attacks the carbon atom in a
carbonyl group and adds across the C O bond, e.g. when aldehydes or ketones react with HCN.
nucleotides compounds consisting of a nitrogenous base, a sugar (ribose or deoxyribose) and a phosphate
group. They form the repeating units of DNA (and RNA).
nucleus the small, dense centre of every atom. It contains protons (positively charged) and neutrons (neutral).
Therefore nuclei are always positively charged.
optical isomers stereoisomers that exist as two non-superimposable mirror images.
orbital see atomic orbital.
order of reaction the sum of the powers to which the concentrations of reactants that appear in the rate
equation are raised. This can also be expressed as the sum of the orders with respect to each reactant that
appears in the rate equation.
outliers measurements that are not consistent with the other measurements taken in a set of repeat readings.
oxidation the addition of oxygen, loss of electrons or increase in oxidation number of a species in a redox
reaction; in organic chemistry refers to a reaction in which oxygen atoms are added to a molecule and/or
hydrogen atoms are removed from a molecule.
oxidation number (oxidation state) a number given to an atom in a compound that indicates how oxidised or
reduced it is.
oxides the compounds formed when elements react with oxygen.
oxidising agent a reactant that removes electrons from another reactant. In the oxidation process the other
reactant has its oxidation number increased.
ozone, O3 a gas found high in the atmosphere that absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Sun before it
reaches the Earth’s surface. Low-level ozone is a pollutant.
partial pressure the pressure that an individual gas contributes to the overall pressure in a mixture of gases. It
is calculated by multiplying the mole fraction of a gas by the total pressure.
partition coefficient the ratio of the concentrations of a solute in two different immiscible solvents when a
state of dynamic equilibrium has been reached, for example, [NH3(ethanol)]eq divided by [NH3(aq)]eq.
peptide link (or bond) the link between the amino acid residues in a polypeptide or protein chain. The link is
formed by a condensation reaction between the NH2 group of one amino acid and the COOH group of another
amino acid.

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periodicity the repeating patterns in the physical and chemical properties of the elements across the periods of
the Periodic Table.
permanent dipole–dipole forces a type of intermolecular force between molecules that have permanent
dipoles because of the uneven distribution of charge in the molecules.
pH the hydrogen ion concentration expressed as a minus logarithm to the base 10, i.e. pH = −log10[H+].
pi (π) bonds found in multiple covalent bonds, the bonds form as a result of the overlap of the lobes on atomic
p orbitals that are positioned at right angles to a single sigma (σ) bond.
pKa values of Ka expressed as a minus logarithm to the base 10, i.e. pKa = −log10[Ka].
plasticiser a substance added to a polymer in its manufacture to modify its properties by disrupting the
intermolecular forces between polymer chains, making the plastic formed softer and more flexible, with a lower
melting temperature.
polar bond a covalent bond in which the two bonding electrons are not shared equally by the atoms in the bond
(because of the difference in the electronegativities of the two atoms).
polar molecule a molecule that possesses a permanent dipole due to its uneven distribution of charge within
the molecule.
polarisation the distortion of the electron cloud on an anion by a neighbouring cation. The distortion is greatest
when the cation is small and highly charged, i.e. when it has a high charge density.
polarising power (of a cation) the ability of a cation to attract electrons and distort an anion.
polyamides polymers whose monomers are bonded to each other via the amide link, CONH .
polyatomic ions charged groups of atoms, also known as molecular ions or compound ions, such as the
sulfate(vi) ion, SO42−.
polyesters polymers whose monomers are bonded to each other via the ester link, COO .
polymer a long-chain molecule made up of many repeating units.
precise data data that show consistency within sets of repeat readings.
primary alcohol an alcohol in which the carbon atom bonded to the OH group is attached to one other carbon
atom (or alkyl group).
primary structure (of proteins) the sequence of amino acids in a polypeptide chain.
principal quantum shells, n areas at various distances from the nucleus that may contain up to a certain
number of electrons. The first quantum shell contains up to 2 electrons, the second up to 8 and the third up to
18 electrons.
propagation step a step in a free-radical mechanism in which the radicals formed can then attack reactant
molecules, generating more free-radicals, and so on.
protein condensation polymer formed from amino acids and joined together by peptide bonds.
proton a dense, positively charged sub-atomic particle found in the nucleus of every atom.
protonation the addition of an H+ ion (a proton) to an atom, molecule or ion.
racemic mixture (racemate) a mixture made up of two optically active isomers, present in equal proportions,
therefore it does not rotate the plane of polarised light.
random errors uncertainty in measurements that are neither consistently too high nor too low but are scattered
about the true value of a reading, e.g. human error when actually taking measurements. Their effects can be
minimised by calculating the mean of sets of precise repeat readings.
rate constant, k the proportionality constant in the rate equation (see rate equation).
rate determining step the slowest step in a reaction mechanism.
rate equation an equation, determined from experimental results, showing the relationship between the rate of
reaction and the concentrations of those reactants that affect the rate. The general form of the rate equation is:
rate = k[A]m[B]n
where k is the rate constant, [A] and [B] are the concentrations of those reactants that affect the rate of reaction,
m is the order of the reaction with respect to A, n is the order of reaction with respect to B and (m + n) is the
overall order of the reaction.
reaction kinetics the study of rates of chemical reactions.
real (non-ideal) gases gases that do not obey the ideal gas law.
redox reaction a reaction in which oxidation and reduction take place at the same time.
reducing agent a reactant that gives electrons to another reactant, and in the process decreases the oxidation
number of the other reactant.
reduction the removal of oxygen, addition of electrons or decrease in oxidation number of a substance; in
organic chemistry it is the removal of oxygen atoms from a molecule and/or the addition of hydrogen atoms to a
molecule.

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reflux a practical technique used in organic chemistry to heat volatile, liquid reactants and products over a period
of time using a vertical condenser above the flask being heated.
reforming the conversion of straight-chain alkanes from the fractional distillation of crude oil into branched
alkanes (or cycloalkanes and arenes) that burn more efficiently in a combustion engine.
relative atomic mass (Ar) the weighted mean mass of the atoms of an element, taking into account the
proportions of naturally occurring isotopes, measured on a scale in which an atom of the carbon-12 isotope has
a mass of exactly 12 units.
relative formula mass the mass of one formula unit of a compound measured on a scale on which an atom of
the carbon-12 isotope has a mass of exactly 12 units.
relative isotopic mass the mass of a particular isotope of an element on a scale in which an atom of the
carbon-12 isotope has a mass of exactly 12 units.
relative molecular mass the mass of a molecule measured on a scale in which an atom of the carbon-12
isotope has a mass of exactly 12 units.
replication the process in which the strands of DNA are copied to synthesise new DNA molecules.
resonance the equivalent structures that can be drawn for the displayed formula of some organic molecules.
retention time the time taken for a component in a mixture to travel through the column in GLC or HPLC.
reversible reaction a reaction in which products can be changed back to reactants.
Rf value (retardation factor) the ratio of the distance a component has travelled compared to the distance
travelled by the solvent front in paper chromatography or TLC.
salt bridge a piece of filter paper soaked in potassium nitrate solution used to make electrical contact between
two half-cells.
salts the ionic compounds formed when the hydrogen in an acid is wholly or partially replaced by a metal (or
ammonium) ion, e.g. potassium nitrate, KNO3, sodium hydrogensulfate, NaHSO4, and magnesium chloride,
MgCl2.
saponification the process in which a fat is turned into a soap by heating with a strong alkali, such as sodium
hydroxide, in a hydrolysis reaction.
saturated hydrocarbons compounds of hydrogen and carbon only in which the carbon–carbon bonds are all
single covalent bonds, resulting in the maximum number of hydrogen atoms in their molecules.
secondary alcohol an alcohol in which the carbon atom bonded to the OH group is attached to two other
carbon atoms (or alkyl groups).
secondary structure (of proteins) the folding of a polypeptide chain into specific structures (e.g. α-helix and
β-pleated sheet), which are stabilised by hydrogen bonds formed between C O and N H groups in peptide
links/bonds.
semi-metal see metalloid.
shells (of electrons) see energy levels.
shielding effect the reduction of the electrostatic force of attraction between the positively charged nucleus and
electrons in the outer shell of an atom or ion due to the presence of inner shells of electrons.
sigma (σ) bonds single covalent bonds, formed by the overlap of atomic orbitals directly between the nuclei of
the two atoms involved.
simple molecular structures the arrangements adopted by covalently bonded molecules. The forces between
the individual molecules are relatively weak compared with the covalent bonds within their molecules.
single covalent bond a shared pair of electrons that bond two atoms together.
skeletal formula a simplified version of the displayed formula that has all the symbols for carbon and hydrogen
atoms removed, as well as the carbon-to-hydrogen bonds. The carbon-to-carbon bonds are left in place as are the
bonds to other atoms.
spectator ions ions present in a reaction mixture that do not take part in the reaction, and can therefore be
omitted from the ionic equation for the reaction.
spin–spin coupling the splitting of peaks in an NMR spectrum because of the effects of small magnetic fields in
neighbouring protons (+H atoms).
splitting effect the pattern of peaks that main signals are divided into in high-resolution NMR.
stability constant, Kstab the equilibrium constant for the formation of the complex ion in a solvent from its
constituent ions or molecules.
standard conditions a pressure of 1.01 × 105 pascals (101 kPa) and a temperature of 298 K (25 °C), with
solutions of 1.00 mol dm−3 concentration, are set as standard conditions.
standard electrode potential the electrode potential of a half-cell when measured with a standard hydrogen
electrode as the other half-cell, under standard conditions.

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standard enthalpy change of solution, ΔHosol; the enthalpy change when 1 mole of an ionic solid dissolves
in a large volume of water to form a very dilute solution, under standard conditions.
standard enthalpy of atomisation ΔHoa; the enthalpy change when 1 mole of gaseous atoms is formed from
its element in its standard state, under standard conditions.
standard enthalpy of combustion, ΔHoc; the enthalpy change when one mole of a substance burns
completely in oxygen, under standard conditions.
standard enthalpy of formation, ΔHof; the enthalpy change when one mole of a compound is made from its
elements in their standard states, under standard conditions.
standard enthalpy of hydration ΔHohyd; the enthalpy change when 1 mole of a gaseous ion is dissolved in a
large volume of water to form a very dilute solution, under standard conditions.
standard enthalpy of reaction, ΔHor; the enthalpy change that takes place in a reaction, in the quantities
described by the chemical equation given for that reaction, under standard conditions.
standard hydrogen half-cell a half-cell in which hydrogen gas, at a pressure of 1 atmosphere (101 kPa), is
passed over a platinum electrode in a solution of 1.00 mol dm−3 H+ ions. This electrode is assigned a standard
electrode potential of 0.00 V. All other standard electrode potentials are measured relative to this value.
standard lattice enthalpy (energy) the enthalpy change when 1 mole of an ionic compound is formed from
its gaseous ions, under standard conditions.
stationary phase the immobile phase in chromatography, over or through which the mobile phase passes.
Examples include the solid surface of the thin-layer particles in TLC or the involatile liquid adsorbed onto the
column in GLC or HPLC.
stereoisomers compounds whose molecules have the same atoms bonded to each other but with different
arrangements of the atoms in space. The compounds are said to exhibit stereoisomerism.
stereospecific refers to enzymes (or other molecules) that only react with one of a pair of optical isomers.
stoichiometry the mole ratio of the reactants and products in the balanced equation for a reaction.
strong acid an acid whose aqueous solution contains a high proportion of H+(aq) ions as a result of the almost
total dissociation of its molecules, and consequently, has very low proportion of its undissociated molecules in
solution.
structural formula the formula that shows the atoms bonded to each carbon atom in an organic molecule, e.g.
CH3CHCH2OH.
structural isomers compounds with the same molecular formula but different structural formulae.
sublime the change of state from a solid to a gas, without passing through the liquid state. Iodine and graphite
are examples of solids that sublime. The reverse change can also be described as sublimation.
sub-shells areas within a principal quantum shell where electrons have slightly different energies depending on
their distance from the nucleus. Sub-shells are given the letters s, p, d and f, where s sub-shells are made up of 1
atomic orbital, p sub-shells have 3 atomic orbitals, d sub-shells have 5 atomic orbitals and f sub-shells have 7
atomic orbitals.
substitution reaction a reaction that involves the replacement of one atom, or group of atoms, by another.
substrate a reactant molecule that fits into the active site of an enzyme.
systematic errors uncertainty in measurements that are either consistently too high or too low, e.g. zero error
of instruments.
termination step the final step in a free-radical mechanism in which two free-radicals react together to form a
molecule.
tertiary alcohol an alcohol in which the carbon atom bonded to the OH group is attached to three other
carbon atoms (or alkyl groups).
tertiary structure (of proteins) this third level of protein structure involves further folding of the polypeptide
chain, which is stabilised by interactions between the amino acid side-chains (ionic interactions, hydrogen
bonding, van der Waals’ forces and disulfide bonds).
tetramethylsilane (TMS) an inert, volatile liquid used as a reference in NMR; assigned a chemical shift of zero.
thermoplastics (thermosoftening plastics) plastics, with relatively weak intermolecular forces between their
polymer chains, which soften when heated and can be remoulded.
thermosets (thermosetting plastics) rigid plastics with extensive cross-linking (via covalent bonds) between
polymer chains, making them heat-resistant (although they will char at high enough temperatures).
thin-layer chromatography (TLC) a separation technique that is similar to paper chromatography but the
stationary phase is a solid (applied as a paste and left to set) on a plastic or glass support, such as a
microscope slide.

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titration a practical technique to find the concentration of a solution, using a burette to add the right volume of
one solution to just react completely with another solution in a flask beneath which usually has an indicator added
that will change colour at the end point.
Tollens’ reagent an aqueous solution of silver nitrate in excess ammonia solution, sometimes called
ammoniacal silver nitrate solution. It is used to distinguish between aldehydes and ketones, giving a positive ‘silver
mirror’ test when warmed with aldehydes, but no change is observed with ketones.
transition metal those elements in the d-block of the Periodic Table that form at least one ion with an
incomplete d sub-shell.
tribasic acid an acid made up of molecules that contain three hydrogen atoms capable of being replaced metal
or ammonium ions to form salts. For example phosphoric(v) acid, H3PO4, can react with bases to form
dihydrogenphosphates, such as NaH2PO4, hydrogenphosphates, such as Na2HPO4, or phosphates, such as
Na3PO4.
trigonal pyramidal a pyramid with a three-cornered base. It is the shape of the ammonia, NH3, molecule.
unsaturated hydrocarbons compounds of hydrogen and carbon only whose molecules contain carbon–carbon
double bonds (or triple bonds).
van der Waals’ forces the weak forces of attraction between molecules caused by the formation of temporary
(or instantaneous) dipoles and the induced dipoles on neighbouring molecules. These intermolecular forces are
also known as London forces or dispersal forces.
volatile describes liquids with low boiling points that will evaporate readily at room temperature.
vulcanisation the treatment of natural rubber by heating with sulfur which forms cross-links between the
rubber’s polymer chains, improving its properties, e.g. making it more hard wearing.
water of crystallisation the water molecules bonded into the giant ionic structure of a hydrated salt, e.g.
Na2CO3.10H2O.
weak acid an acid whose aqueous solution contains a high proportion of its undissociated molecules, and
consequently, a low proportion of H+(aq) ions.
X-ray crystallography an analytical technique that uses the diffraction pattern of X-rays passed through a solid
sample to work out its structure.
zwitterions the ions formed by amino acids when their acidic COOH group donates an H+ ion
(becoming COO−) to their basic NH2 group (which becomes NH3+).

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