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APES Ch. 2 Vocab

Environmental Systems - AP Environmental Science, Chapter 2

TermDefinition
Matter Anything that occupies space and has mass
Mass A measure of the amount of matter and object contains
Atom The smallest particle that can contain the chemical properties of an element
Element A substance composed of atoms that cannot be broken down into smaller, simpler components
Periodic table A chart of all the chemical elements currently known, organized by their chemical properties
Molecules Particles containing more than one atom
Compounds Molecules containing more than one element
Atomic number The number of protons in the nucleus of a particular element
Mass number A measurement of the total number of protons and neutrons in an element
Isotopes Atoms of the same element with a different number of neutrons
Radioactive decay The spontaneous release of material from the nucleus of radioactive isotopes
Half-life The time it takes for one half of an original radioactive parent atom to decay
Covalent bond The bond formed when elements share electrons
Ionic bond A chemical bond between two oppositely charged ions
Hydrogen bond A weak chemical bond that forms when hydrogen atoms that are covalently bonded to one atom are attracted to another atom on another molecule
Polar molecule A molecule in which one side is more positive and the other side is more negative
Surface tension A property of water that results from the cohesion of molecules at the surface of a body of water and creates a "skin" on the water's surface
Capillary action A property of water that occurs when adhesion of water molecules to a surface is stronger than the cohesion between the molecules
Acid A substance that contributes hydrogen ions to a solution
Base A substance that contributes hydroxide ions to a solution
pH The number indicating the strength of acids and bases on a scale from 0 to 14, where 7 is neutral, smaller values are acidic, and larger values are basic
Chemical reaction A reaction that occurs when atoms separate from molecules or recombine with other molecules
Law of Conservation of Matter Matter cannot be created or destroyed
Inorganic compounds A compound that does not contain carbon
Organic compound A compound that contains carbon-carbon or carbon-hydrogen bonds
Carbohydrates Compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms
Proteins Long chains of nitrogen-containing organic molecules known as amino acids, providing structural support, energy storage, internal transport, and defense against foreign substances
Nucleic acids Organic compounds found in all living cells, forming in long chains to make DNA and RNA
DNA A nucleic acid that contains the genetic material to pass to offspring
RNA A nucleic acid that translates the code stored in DNA and allows for the synthesis of proteins
Lipids Smaller organic molecules that do not mix with water
Cell A highly organized living entity that consists of the four types of macromolecules and other substances in a watery solution, surrounded by membrane
Energy The ability to do work or transfer heat
Electromagnetic radiation A form of energy emitted by the sun that includes (but is not limited to) visible light ultraviolet light, and infrared energy
Photons Massless packets of energy that carry electromagnetic radiation at the speed of light
Joule The amount of energy used when a one-watt electrical device is turned on for one second
Power The rate at which work is done
Potential energy Stored energy that has not been released
Kinetic energy The energy of motion
Chemical energy Potential energy stored in chemical bonds
Temperature The measure of the average kinetic energy of a substance
First Law of Thermodynamics Energy can neither be created nor destroyed
Second Law of Thermodynamics When energy is transformed, the quantity of energy remains the same, but its ability to do work diminishes
Energy efficiency The ratio of the amount of work done to the total amount of energy introduced to the system
Energy quality The ease with which energy can be used for work. Something has high energy quality if it exists in a concentrated form that does not take too much energy to transport (ex: gasoline).
Entropy Randomness in a system
Open system A system in which exchanges of matter occur across system boundaries
Closed system A system in which exchanges of matter do not occur across system boundaries
Inputs Additions to a system
Outputs Losses from a system
Systems analysis An analysis to determine inputs, outputs, and changes in a system under various conditions
Steady state A state in which inputs equal outputs, so that the system is not changing over time
Feedback An adjustment in input or output rates caused by changes to a system
Negative feedback loops Feedback loops in which a system responds to a change by returning to its original state, or by decreasing the rate at which change is occuring
Positive feedback loops A feedback loop in which a change is amplified
Created by: emilyjane1221