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Matter Vocabulary

Word Definition Image

atom atoms as a source of nuclear energy.

element each of more than one hundred 

substances that cannot be chemically 
interconverted or broken down into 
simpler substances and are primary 
constituents of matter. Each element is 
distinguished by its atomic number, i.e. 
the number of protons in the nuclei of its 

constraint a limitation or restriction.

criteria a principle or standard by which 

something may be judged or decided.
atomic the mass of an atom of a chemical 
mass element expressed in atomic mass units. 
It is approximately equivalent to the 
number of protons and neutrons in the 
atom (the mass number) or to the 
average number allowing for the relative 
abundances of different isotopes.

Periodic a table of the chemical elements 

table arranged in order of atomic number, 
usually in rows, so that elements with 
similar atomic structure (and hence 
similar chemical properties) appear in 
vertical columns.

Chemical A chemical symbol is a notation of 

symbol one or two letters representing a 
chemical element. The exceptions to 
the one- to two-letter symbol are the 
temporary element symbols assigned 
to designate new or to-be-synthesized 

molecule a group of atoms bonded together, 

representing the smallest fundamental 
unit of a chemical compound that can 
take part in a chemical reaction.

chemical A chemical bond is the physical 

bond phenomenon of chemical substances 
being held together by attraction of 
atoms to each other through sharing, 
as well as exchanging, of electrons -or 
electrostatic forces.
model Scientific modeling, the generation of 
a physical, conceptual, or 
mathematical representation of a real 
phenomenon that is difficult to 
observe directly. ... Other models are 
intended to describe an abstract or 
hypothetical behaviour or 

chemical A Chemical Structure is a number of 

structure atoms of each element in a 
compound. The structural formula 
shows both the actual number of 
atoms of elements in a compound 
and also how the atoms are arranged 
as well as which atoms are bonded to 
one another

atomic The definition of atomic structure is 

compositi the positively charged nucleus and the 
on negatively charged electrons circling 
around it, within an atom. An example 
of atomic structure is what gives 
energy to atoms and then to 

crystal A crystal is a solid whose molecules 

(or atoms) are arranged in a repeating 
extended Substances are made from different 
structure types of atoms, which combine with 
one another in various ways. Atoms 
form molecules that range in size 
from two to thousands of atoms. ( 
MS-PS1-1) Solids may be formed from 
molecules, or they may be extended 
structures with repeating subunits 
(e.g., crystals).

polymer a substance that has a molecular 

structure consisting chiefly or entirely of a 
large number of similar units bonded 
together, e.g., many synthetic organic 
materials used as plastics and resins.

macrosc relating to large-scale or general analysis.


substanc Definition of Substance. A substance 

e is matter which has a specific 
composition and specific properties. 
Every pure element is a substance. 
Every pure compound is a substance. 
Examples of substances: Iron is an 
element and hence is also a 

property a property or characteristic of a 

substance that is observed during a 
reaction in which the chemical 
composition or identity of the 
substance is changed: Combustibility 
is an important chemical property to 
consider when choosing building 
mass a collection of incoherent
particles, parts, or objects
regarded as forming one body:

density the degree of compactness of a 


solubility Solubility is a chemical property 

referring to the ability for a given 
substance, the solute, to dissolve in a 

state of states of matter are observable in 

matter everyday life: solid, liquid, gas

firm and stable in shape; not liquid or 
liquid composed of molecules that
move freely among themselves
but do not tend to separate like
those of gases; neither gaseous
nor solid.

gas a substance or matter in a state in which 

it will expand freely to fill the whole of a 
container, having no fixed shape (unlike a 
solid) and no fixed volume (unlike a 

boiling the temperature at which a liquid boils 

point and turns to vapor.

melting the temperature at which a given solid will 

point melt. 

pressure Pressure is defined as a measure of 

the force applied over a unit area. 
Pressure is often expressed in units of 
temperat Temperature Defined. Temperature is 
ure a measure of how hot or cold 
something is; specifically, a measure 
of the average kinetic energy of the 
particles in an object, which is a type 
of energy associated with motion. ... 
The terms hot and cold are not very 
scientific terms

Thermal Thermal energy is the energy that is 

energy generated and measured by heat. An 
example of thermal energy is the 
kinetic energy of an atom. An example 
of thermal energy is the chemical 
energy in a molecule

Heat  Most of us use the word 'heat' to 

mean something that feels warm, but 
science defines heat as the flow of 
energy from a warm object to a cooler 
object. ...Heat energy is the result of 
the movement of tiny particles called 
atoms, molecules or ions in solids, 
liquids and gases.

sublime of a solid substance) change directly into 

vapor when heated, typically forming a 
solid deposit 

evaporat Evaporation is the process of a 

e substance in a liquid state changing 
to a gaseous state due to an increase 
in temperature and/or pressure. 
Evaporation is a fundamental part of 
the water cycle and is constantly 
occurring throughout nature.
deposit something precipitated, delivered
and left, or thrown down, as by a
natural process:

condens Condensation is the process by which 

e water vapor in the air is changed into 
liquid water. In other words, the water 
in the air, a gas known as water vapor, 
from your hot shower cooled when it 
met the surface of the cold mirror. 
This caused the water vapor to 
condense, or turn into its liquid form.

product a product is a substance that is 

formed as the result of a chemical 
reaction. ... The number and type of 
atoms on the reactants side of the 
equation are the same as the number 
and type of atoms in the products.

reactant Reactants are substances initially 

present in a chemical reaction that are 
consumed during the reaction to 
make products.

chemical a process that involves rearrangement of 

reaction the molecular or ionic structure of a 
substance, as opposed to a change in 
physical form or a nuclear reaction.
Scientific Scientific evidence is evidence which 
evidence serves to either support or counter a 
or hypothesis

Clinical A clinical trial, also known as a clinical 

trial research study, is a protocol to 
evaluate the effects and efficacy of 
experimental medical treatments or 
behavioral interventions on health 
outcomes. ... Potential treatments 
include drugs, medical devices, 
vaccines, blood products or gene 

Chemical A chemical equation is the symbolic 

equation representation of a chemical reaction 
in the form of symbols 

Scientific A scientific law is a statement based 

law on repeated experimental 
observations that describes some 
aspect of the world. A scientific law 
always applies under the same 
conditions, and implies that there is a 
causal relationship involving its 

Law of a fundamental principle of classical 

conserva physics that matter cannot be created 
tion of or destroyed in an isolated system.
exotherm An exothermic reaction is a chemical 
ic reaction in which less energy is 
reaction needed to break bonds in the 
reactants than is released when new 
bonds form in the products. During an 
exothermic reaction, energy is 
constantly given off, often in the form 
of heat. All combustion reaction sare 
exothermic reactions.

endother reaction that would be described as 

mic endothermic.

prototype Prototypes are generally used to test 

an idea in an existing system or 
before a real system is established. 
The goal of the prototype is to prove 
whether the components that will also 
be in the final system will work 
together as expected. 

synthetic Something made of artificial material, 

material not natural items, can be described as 
synthetic. ... The adjective synthetic 
usually describes things created by 
chemical synthesis (synthetic 
compound, synthetic drug, synthetic 
material), but it sometimes describes 
an emotion that is feigned or not 

natural materials or substances such as 

resource minerals, forests, water, and fertile land 
that occur in nature and can be used for 
economic gain.
food a substance added to food to enhance its 
additive flavor or appearance or to preserve it.

biodegra Capable of being broken down 

dable (decomposed) rapidly by the action of 
microorganisms. Biodegradable 
substances include food scraps, 
cotton, wool, wood, human and animal 
waste, manufactured products based 
on natural materials (such as paper, 
and vegetable-oil based soaps). See 
also degradable and