mcat chem 1 glossary

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  1. Absolute zero
    Temperature at which all substances have no thermal energy; 0Kevin or -273C.
  2. Acid dissociation constant (Ka)
    • The equilibrium constant that measures the degree of dissociation for an acid under specific conditions.
    • For an acid HA,
    • Ka = [H+][A-] / HA
  3. Activation energy (Ea)
    Minimum amount of energy required for a reaction to occur.
  4. Anion
    An ionic species with a negative charge.
  5. Anode
    The electrode at which oxidation occurs.
  6. Atomic mass
    • The averaged mass of the atoms of an element, taking into account the relative abundance of the various isotopes in a naturally occuring substance.
    • (a.k.a atomic weight)
  7. Atomic mass unit (amu)
    A unit of mass defined as 1/12 the mass of a carbon-12 atom; approximately equal to the mass of one proton or one neutron
  8. Atomic number
    The number of protons in a given element (nuclear charge)
  9. Atomic orbital
    The square of the wavefunction of an electron It describes the region of space where there is a high probability of finding the electron
  10. Aufbau principle
    The principle that electrons fill energy levels in a given atom in order of increasing energy, completely filling one sublevel before beginning to fill the next
  11. Avogadro's number
    • The number of atoms of molecules in one mole of a substance: 6.022 x 1023
  12. Avogadro's principle
    The law stating that under the same conditions of temperature and pressure, equal volumes of different gases will have the same number of molecules
  13. Azimuthal quantum number (l)
    The second quantum number, denoting the sublevel or subshell in which an electron can be found. Reveals the shape of the orbital. This quantum number represents the orbital angular momentum of te motion of the electron about a point in space
  14. Balanced equation
    An equation for a chemical reaction in which the number of atoms for each element in the reaction and the total charge are the same for the reactants and the products
  15. Base
    A species that donates hydroxide ions or electrons or that accepts protons
  16. Base dissociation constant (Kb)
    • The equilibrium constant that measures the degree of dissociation for a base under specific conditions
    • For a base BOH,
    • Kb= [B+][OH-] / [BOH]
  17. Basic solution
    An aqueous solution that contains more OH- ions than H+ ions. The pH of a basic solution is greater than 7
  18. Bohr model
    The model of the hydrogen atom postulating that atoms are composed of electrons that assume certain circular orbits about a positive nucleus
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mcat chem 1 glossary
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