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Chemistry Vocabulary

8th Grade Science Unit 1

atom The smallest particle of an element that cannot be broken down without losing its properties; basic unit that makes up all matter.
atomic mass The average mass of an atom. (protons + neutrons)
atomic number The number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom.
Bohr model Simple model of an atom that shows the distribution of protons and neutrons in the nucleus and the distribution of electrons in orbiting energy levels.
chemical bond The force that holds the atoms of molecules and compounds together.
chemical change Change in a substance through chemical reactions to form new substances with different properties.
chemical equation A short simple way to describe a chemical reaction using symbols.
chemical reaction When chemical bonds are broken and atoms rearrange, a chemical reaction occurs.
coefficient The number of each molecule in a chemical formula.
compound A substance made up of two or more different types of atoms (elements).
conductor Materials that readily conduct an electric current.
conservation of mass States that mass cannot be lost or gained. Therefore, the number of atoms and mass at the beginning of a reaction must equal the number or atoms and mass at the end of a reaction.
electron A subatomic particle, with a negative charge, found outside the nucleus of an atom.
electron cloud The area surrounding the nucleus of an atom where electrons can be found.
element The simplest form of a molecule made of only one type of atom with a certain number of protons and properties unique to that element.
energy level/shell Refers to the electron configuration outside the nucleus of an atom.
group /Family Numbered columns of the periodic table. Numbers correlate with the number of valence electrons for a neutral atom.
halogen Highly reactive elements found in group 17 of the periodic table with 7 valence electrons.
malleable Physical property of metals and metalloids. Malleable metals can easily be deformed, especially by hammering or rolling, without cracking.
mass number The number of protons and neutrons in an element. It is equal to the atomic mass rounded to the nearest whole number. (#protons + #neutrons)
metal Elements located to the left of the zigzag line on the periodic table. Generally, these are good conductors, reactive and have shiny luster.
metalloid Elements found along the zig-zag of the periodic table that share properties of both metals and non-metals.
molecule Two or more atoms of same or different kinds chemically bonded together.
noble gas Elements found in group 18 of the periodic table. These elements generally do not form compounds with other elements because their outer energy level is full.
non-metal Elements located to the right of the zigzag line on the periodic table. These are generally poor conductors.
nucleus The dense center of an atom containing the protons and neutrons.
neutron A subatomic particle with no charge (neutral) found in the nucleus of an atom.
organic compound Any compound that contains Carbon (C).
periods The numbered rows of the periodic table. Numbers indicate the number energy levels (shells) for an atom.
physical change A change in a substance that does not involve a chemical reaction, so no new substance is formed.
precipitate The formation of a solid in a solution during a chemical reaction.
product The resulting substances in a chemical reaction found to the right of the yield sign.
proton A positively charged subatomic particle that determines an element’s identity.
reactant Any substance present initially in a chemical reaction found to the left of the yield sign.
subatomic particle Particles smaller than an atom that combine to form an atom.
subscript The number of atoms of an element in a molecule.
valence electron Electrons in the outermost energy level of an atom.
yield sign The symbol in a chemical equation that indicates the direction of the reaction. Shown with an arrow.