Organic Chemistry Glossary
Organic Chemistry Glossary
Organic Chemistry is full of numerous similar sounding terms, and chemicals, which is why most labs have barcode labels, and a wireless barcode scanner. The terms and resources below should make organic chemistry a bit less confusing:
Organic Chemistry Terms:
absolute zero: The temperature where all movement stops even on a molecular level, it is also lowest temperature on the Kelvin scale.
acid: A liquid with a pH less than seven.
adsorption: When rather than being absorbed a substance collects upon the surface of another substance. More
alloy: A combination of metals usually made to produce a metal with stronger properties of both.
amino acid: A combination of amines and acids, which provide the basis for proteins.
asymmetric: Molecules that are not symmetrical.
base anhydride: Type of oxide that can form a base if water is added.
base: A liquid with a pH greater than seven.
binary compound: A compound that consists of specifically two elements.
binding energy: Energy that holds nucleus’ neutrons and protons together.
buffer: A liquid that can hinder a change in the pH when added to an acid or a base.
calorimetry: Used to describe the study of the flow of heat.
catalyst: A substance that can make a chemical reaction faster but which is not actually needed to produce the reaction nor is used in the reaction.
chain reaction: When a reaction provides the agents for a subsequent reaction.
chemical properties: Properties that require a chemical reaction to observe.
chirality: Used to describe when symmetric parts of a molecule are not super imposable on one another.
circuit: The path through which electrons flow.
colligative property: A solution property that changes if the concentration of that solution changes.
combustion: When a compound is changed into water, heat, and CO2 as a result of combining with oxygen.
compound: A combination of elements into a more complex molecule.
concentration: The amount of a substance dissolved in a liquid.
condensation: When vapor changes into a liquid.
conductance: A the amount of electricity which can flow through an object.
constitution: The types and totals of atoms which makeup a molecule.
continuous spectrum: A spectrum all the colors of light.
covalent bond: A bond where atoms share elections.
critical mass: The amount of a specific radioactive material it takes to create a chain reaction.
decomposition: When a complex molecule becomes broken apart to create two or more smaller ones.
denature: When the structure of proteins beak down from exposure to heat.
diffusion: When particles move to a lower area of concentration from a high area of concentration.
dilution: When a substance, called a solvent, is added to a suspension to reduce the concentration.
distillation: When a mix of liquids is separated by heating it up because one liquid boils at a different temperature than the other.
electrolysis: When a compound is separated by the use of electricity.
element: A substance that cannot be divded chemically into component substances.
emulsion: When drops of a li quid are suspended in another liquid.
energy level: The current level of energy an electron has within an atom.
equilibrium: When the forward and reverse rates are equal in a chemical reaction.
equivalence point: When a solution is completely neutral in a titration.
excited state: The high level of energy electrons can achieve as energy is added.
group: A column within the periodic table of elements.
half–life: The time it takes for a decaying radioactive substance to be reduced by half.
heat: A measure of the kinetic energy within a system of particles.
hybrid orbitals: Orbitals created by mixing other orbitals.
hybridization: The process wherein orbitals of similar energies are combined to form a set of equivlent ‘hybrid’ orbital.
hydrolysis: A chemical reaction where water is introduced in another substance usually to separate it.
immiscible: When substances cannot dissolve into one another.
indicators: Compunds which change colors at different pH levels.
intermediate: Molecules that exist only during a chemical reaction; not before or after the reaction.
intermolecular force: The force between two molecules.
ion: An atom which has lost or gained electrons and become charged.
ionic bond: A bond formed when charge particles stick together.
ionization energy: The energy needed to remove an electron from a gaseous atom.
irreversible reaction: A chemical reaction after which the resulting agents cannot be changed back into the reactions ingredients.
limiting reagent: A chemical in a reaction that is used up before other ingredients in the reaction, thus limiting how much of the resulting substance can be produced.
lone pair/unshared pair: Two electrons that are not shared between atoms within a molecule.
mass: The measure of an object’s matter.
molecular formula: The formula that shows all the atoms a molecule consist of.
molecule: The smallest piece of an atom that can exist in a free state.
neutralization reaction: A reaction between an acid and a base that results in salt and water.
node: Part of the orbital area in an atom where it is impossible to find an electron.
nonpolar covalent bond: A bond where elections are equally shared between two atoms.
nuclear fusion: When parts of the nucleus of atoms are forced together to create a new one.
nuclear reaction: When a reaction affects the nucleus of an atom.
nucleons: The particles in the nucleus of an atom.
orbital: The area of an atom where electrons orbit it.
osmosis: When a liquid flows through a semi permeable membrane.
percent yield: The percentage of yield that occurred versus the theoretical yield.
physical property: Properties of a substance that can be observed without using a chemical reaction that would change the substance.
potential energy: Energy which something has but which is not being used, such as a motionless rock at the top of a cliff.
protecting group: A ground used in preventing undesired reactions.
radioactive: Describes a substance with an unstable nucleus.
redox reaction: A reaction consisting of both reduction and oxidation.
saturated: When a liquid has dissolved as much of a substance as it can.
specific heat capacity: The heat needed to raise a gram of a substance temperature by a degree.
spectrophotometer: Tool that measures the absorption or emission of electromagnetic radiation.
spontaneous change: Changes that occur on their own.
suspension: A mixture of solids in a liquid.
synthesis: Describes when a molecule consists of two or more smaller ones.
temperature: The measure of the kinetic energy present in a system.
unit cell: The smallest part of a crystal that could be used to create the whole crystal.
unsaturated: When a liquid has not absorbed so much of a substance that it cannot absorb more.
vaporization: When you heat a liquid and it turns into a gas.
Sources & Links to additional information: