Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English

DICTIONARY
CHEMISTRY




A B C D E F G
H I K L M N O
P Q R S U

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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English

A

Absolute Error, The difference between the approximate and exact value in any
calculation.
Accuracy, In measurement indicates that a set of measurements are close to the true
answer, though they are not necessarily precise.
Acid, Compounds that contain hydrogen (H #1) and when dissolved in water (H
2
O),
they increase the concentration of hydrogen ions, H+ (hydronium ions H
3
O+). Acids are
proton donors. Substances with a pH less than 7 are considered to be acidic.
Actinides, The fourteen elements in the bottom row of the inner-transition elements of
the periodic table that follow the element actinium (Ac #89). Some reference sources
include actinium in this series others do not. For these elements the 5f orbital is the
filling orbital. This series is a sub-series of the transition metals.
Alkali Earth Metal (Alkaline-Earth Metals), Elements in the second column (from
the left) of the periodic table all fall into this series. These elements are in general white,
differing by shades of color or casts; they are malleable, extrudable and machinable.
These elements may be made into rods, wire or plate. Also, these elements are less
reactive than the alkali metals and have higher melting points and boiling points.
Alkali Metal, A metal in the first column of the periodic table (i.e., lithium, sodium,
potassium, rubidium, cesium and francium). With the exception of francium, these
metals are all soft and silvery. They may be readily fused and volatilized with their
melting and boiling points becoming lower with increasing atomic mass. They are the
strongest electropositive metals. These elements react vigorously, even violently with
water.
Alpha Particle, Consists of the nucleus of an atom of helium (two protons and two
neutrons) and is sometimes emitted from the nucleus of some atoms as part of those
atoms' radioactive decay. Alpha particles have an energy range of 4-8 MeV. This energy
is dissipated in only a few centimeters of air or less than 0.005mm of aluminum (Al).
Ångstrom (Å), One ten-billionth of a meter (10
-10
m or 0.0000000001 m) or 1/10th of a
nanometer.
Angular Momentum Quantum Number, See azimuthal quantum number
Anion, A negatively charged ion.
Antimatter (antiparticle), Species of subatomic particles that have the same mass and
spin as normal particles, however, they have opposite electrical charges from their
normal matter counterparts. In the case of antineutrons they are opposite of neutrons in
magnetic moment. Positrons, which are the counterpart to electrons, have a positive
charge and antiprotons have a negative charge. Photons are their own antimatter
counterpart. When a particle of matter collides with a particle of antimatter, both
particles are destroyed and their masses are converted to photons of equivalent energy.

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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English
Asbestosis, A lung disease (pneumoconiosis) resulting from inhaling fibers of asbestos
and marked by interstitial fibrosis of the lung.
Atom, The smallest possible unit of matter that still maintains an element's identity
during chemical reactions. Atoms contain one or more protons and neutrons (except
hydrogen (H), which normally contains no neutrons) in a nucleus around which one or
more electrons revolve.
Atomic Mass (Atomic Mass Average), The average mass of all nuclides of an element
determined by the proportions in which each nuclide of the element are present within
the earth and its atmosphere.
Atomic Mass Unit (AMU), A mass unit that is exactly 1/12th the mass of a carbon 12
(C12) atom (approximately 1.67E
-24
g).
Atomic Number, The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom. This determines an
element's structure, properties and location on the periodic table of elements.
Atomic Radius, One-half the distance between two adjacent atoms in crystals of
elements. This varies according to interatomic forces.
Atomic Volume, The atomic mass of an element divided by its density.
Avogadro, Amadeo (1776-1856), An Italian chemist who first stated the principle
behind stoichiometry in 1811. Also see Avogadro's Number and Molarity, Molality And
Normality.
Avogadro's Number, This is the number of atoms in a 12g sample of carbon-12 (C12).
This is equal to 6.0221367E
23
atoms. It is named for Italian chemist Amadeo Avogadro
(1776-1856) who first stated the principle in 1811.
Azimuthal Quantum Number (angular momentum quantum number), The
quantum number that distinguishes orbitals of given n having different shapes. This can
be any interger value from 0 to n-1.




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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English

B
BACT (Best Available Control Technology), Guidelines for municipal waste
combustors developed by EPA in 1986 that were intended to add consistency and
reduce delay and confusion in the permitting process.
Barns, A measurement of area equal to E
-24
cm
2
.
Base, Compounds that when dissolved in water increase the concentration of hydroxide
ions (OH). Bases are proton acceptors. Substances with a pH greater than 7 are
considered to basic.
Beta Particle, a charged particle emitted from the nucleus of some atoms as part of
those atoms' radioactive decay. Positively charged beta particles are positrons and
negatively charged beta particles are electrons. Beta particles can cause burns and are
harmful to living tissues, however, protection is afforded by a thin sheet of metal.
Boiling Point, The temperature at which the vapor pressure of a liquid is equal to or
slightly greater than the atmospheric pressure of the environment. For water at sea level,
its boiling point is 100C (212F).




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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English

C
CAA (Clean Air Act), Passed by congress to have the air “safe enough to protect the
public's health” by 5/31/1975. It was amended in 1990 to require EPA to develop more
stringent and specific regulations for air emissions.
Caplan's syndrome, Pneumoconiosis associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
CAS, Chicago Academy of Science; Chemical Abstracts Service (which assigns CAS
Numbers to chemicals).
Cation, A positively charged ion.
Ceiling, The exposure limit for a substance that should (or in the case of OSHA PEL's
"shall") not be exceeded. If instantaneous monitoring is not feasible, then a 15-minute
time weighted average is used.
Centigrade (Celsius), The scale for measuring temperature used internationally where
the freezing point of water is zero and the boiling point of water at sea level is 100
degrees. To convert from centigrade into Fahrenheit, multiply the centigrade
temperature by 1.8 then add 32 to the product (C*1.8+32=F). To convert from
Fahrenheit to centigrade, subtract 32 and then divide by 1.8 ((F-32)/1.8).
CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability
Act, Superfund Act), Is responsible for the "cradle to grave law" that holds the
generator of waste responsible for proper waste disposal and provides for cleanup of the
most contaminated sites by the government, with the cost of cleanup being charged to
the responsible parties. Basically a generator becomes responsible for waste from it's
inception until it has been destroyed.
Chemiluminescence, The emission of absorbed energy as light as the result of a
chemical reaction. This occurs in thousands of compounds both organic and inorganic.
Chemical glow sticks and fireflies are examples of this.
Coefficient of lineal thermal expansion, The ratio of change in length per degree
centigrade compared to the base length at zero degrees centigrade. The unit of
measurement is centimeter per centimeter per degree centigrade (cm/cm/°C). This
measurement means that for every centimeter of base length, the length will change X
centimeters for every change of one degree centigrade.
Compound, a substance composed of atoms or ions of two or more elements that are
chemically combined. Elements in a compound are present in definite proportions by
mass and are bonded with each other in a specific manner.
Conduction,
Thermal conduction, the transfer of heat between two solid materials that are physically
touching each other.
Electrical conduction, the transfer of electrical current through a solid or liquid.
Convection, The movement of heat by a moving liquid or gas. Convection results from
the differences in the densities of a material at different temperatures. As a liquid or gas

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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English
raises in temperature, it becomes less dense and thus lighter thereby rising above its
cooler and denser counterparts, which in turn sink.
Covalent Radius, A chemical bond between atoms formed by the sharing of valence
electrons.
Cross section, The effective size of a nucleus in capturing a thermal neutron (slow
neutron). Larger cross sections have a greater probability of neutron capture.
Crystal Structure (crystal system), The atomic arrangement of the atoms of an
element when it is in its solid state.
Cubic,





Cubic, Body Centered




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Cubic, Face Centered





Hexagonal





Monoclinic





Orthorhombic




Rhombohedral

5
Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English






Tetragonal





CWA (Clean Water Act, Water Quality Act, WQA)


Similar to the CAA, the CWA placed controls on disposal facilities generating ash
quench-water, landfill leach rate and surface water discharges. Amended in 1987 and
called the Water Quality Act (WQA) it set further standards for discharging into the
environment and expanded to include storm run-off.




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D
Decomposition, A reaction where a single compound breaks down into simpler
compounds.
Deflagration, The extremely rapid burning of a material. This is much much faster than
normal combustion, but slower than detonation.
Density, The ratio of mass to unit volume expressed in grams/cm3 for solids and liquids
and grams/liter in gases (density=mass/volume).
Detonation, The sudden and violent release of mechanical, chemical or nuclear energy
from a confined space which creates a shock wave that travels at supersonic speeds.
Often used interchangeably with explosion.
Diatomic, Elements that are present in the gaseous state as molecules composed of two
atoms. For example: O
2
, N
2
, Cl
2
and H
2
are diatomic.
DOT (USDOT), United States Department of Transportation





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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English


E
Electrical Conductivity, See Conduction
Electrochemical equivalents, An element's mass displaced by a unit quantity of
electricity passage. The formula used on this site is: electrochemical equivalents=kA/n.
'k' is a constant that equals 0.0373100, 'A' is the gram-atomic weight and 'n' is the
principle valence.
Electronegativity, A measure of the ability of an atom in a molecule to draw
bonding electrons to itself. This is partially determined by how many electron
vacancies are available in an element's filling orbital. The most electronegative
elements are the halogens, which have only one vacancy (i.e. have seven
electrons in their filling orbital). Sulfur and oxygen are also highly
electronegative.
Electron, A particle of matter that has a negative electric charge of
4.8 E
-10
esu and a mass of 9.1E
-28
g or 1/1837 the mass of a proton.
They can be found as a constituent part of an atom orbiting around the nucleus or in the
free state. Electrons are arranged around the nucleus of an atom in from one to seven
orbitals with the number of electrons in each orbital is strictly limited by the laws of
physics.
Electron work function (photoelectric work function), The smallest amount of
photonic energy necessary to remove an electron from the boundary of an element.
Element, One of the 116 presently known substances that cannot be
decomposed by chemical reaction into a simpler substance. Elements
comprise all matter at and above the atomic level. All elements heavier
than lead (Pb) are radioactive and unstable. In addition, there are no stable elements
with odd numbers of both protons and neutrons heavier than nitrogen (N). Elements
with even numbers of protons and an even number of neutrons make up about 90% of
the earth's crust.
Energy Levels (electron shells, shells), The possible locations around an
atom where electrons having specific energy values (quantum number) may
be found. The term shell has been replaced with the term energy levels
because the term shell insinuated that electrons circled the atom in fixed
orbits like planets circle the sun. This model however is incorrect and
outdated. Although the term shell is outdated, it is still often used grade
school and high school science classes, as its concepts are less
intimidating than are the use of terms like quantum number.
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), Created in 1970 as an
agency of the United States federal government, charged with
protecting the environment and enforcing environmental laws and

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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English
regulations. The EPA did not play a significant role in waste
management until RCRA was inacted in 1976 in response to the Love
Canal incident.
Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG), This guidebook, which is produced by the
US Department of Transportation, assists responders in making initial decisions upon
arriving at the scene of a dangerous goods incident. The 1996 edition of this guide was
called the NAERG (North American Emergency Response Guidebook), however, the
2000 edition reverted back to the original name. (online version of ERG)
Explosion, The sudden and violent release of mechanical, chemical or nuclear energy
from a confined space which creates a heat wave that travels at subsonic speeds. Often
used interchangeably with detonation.




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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English

F
Fahrenheit, The temperature scale where 32 degrees is the freezing point of water and
212 degrees at 760mm Hg (sea level) is the boiling point of water. To convert from
Fahrenheit to centigrade, subtract 32 and then divide by 1.8 ((F-32)/1.8). To convert
from centigrade into Fahrenheit, multiply the centigrade temperature by 1.8 then add 32
to the product (C*1.8+32=F). This scale is named for G. D. Fahrenheit (1686-1736), the
German physicist, who invented it and was the individual who introduced the use of
mercury (Hg) instead of alcohol in thermometers. Because of the health dangers related
with mercury, the use of mercury in thermometers is losing favor and once again
alcohol thermometers are becoming more popular.
Filling Orbital, The orbital of an element that is only partially filled with electrons
when an atom is at a neutral state electrically.
Fibrosis, Formation of fibrous tissue as a reaction or as a repair process; may be result
of treatment and/or disease.
First Ionization Potential (first ionization energy), The minimum amount of energy
needed to remove the outermost (highest energy) electron from a neutral atom in the
gaseous state.
Freezing Point, see melting point.





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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English

G

Gamma Ray, Extremely short wavelength and intensely high-energy electromagnetic
radiation. Gamma rays originate from an atom's nucleus and normally accompany alpha
and beta particles as part of the emissions of the radioactive decay of an atom and
always accompany nuclear fission. Because gamma rays are energy and not matter, they
are very penetrating and can cause damage to animal and plant tissues. Gamma rays are
absorbed by extremely dense materials like lead (Pb) and depleted uranium (U).
Gas, A substance of very low density that has no definite shape or volume.
Group, The vertical columns (major classes or divisions) into which elements are
arranged in the periodic table of elements. There are three common numbering systems
for these groups:
The new IUPAC system, which numbers each column with Arabic numbers from 1
(one) through 18 (eighteen). To reduce confusion caused by the other two systems, this
is the system that is used in articles on this web site.
The old IUPAC system, which labeled columns with Roman numerals followed by
either the letter 'A' or 'B'. Columns were numbed such that columns one through seven
were numbered 'IA' through 'VIIA', columns 8 through 10 were labeled 'VIIIA',
columns 11 through 17 were numbered 'IB' through 'VIIB' and column 18 was
numbered 'VIII'.
The CAS system, which also used Roman numerals followed by an 'A' or 'B'. This
method, however, labeled columns 1 and 2 as 'IA' and 'IIA', columns 3 through 7 as
'IIIB' through 'VIB', column 8 through 10 as 'VIII', columns 11 and 12 as 'IB' and 'IIB'
and columns 13 through 18 as 'IIIA' through 'VIIIA'.
Because of the confusion the old IUPAC and the CAS system created, the IUPAC
adopted their new system.
Elements are arranged in these groups according to whose proprieties are similar. All
elements in Group 1 for instance are alkali metals. They have only one electron in the
outer shell (valence electron) and as a result are highly reactive. Elements in Group 17
are the halogens. They all have seven electrons in the outer orbital (two in level s and
five in level p). They are also very reactive because they have seven electrons in the
outer shell and will readily accept an electron in order to reach the ion configuration
with the ideal number of eight electrons in the outer shell. Elements Group 18 have a
complete outer shell with eight electrons. These noble gases are highly stable and do not
react to form compounds under normal conditions.


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H
Half-life, The time it takes for one-half of the atoms of an unstable element or nuclide
to decay radioactively into another element or nuclide
Halogens, The reactive nonmetals that are in Group 17 of the periodic table. All of
these elements are electronegative.
Hazardous Material (HazMat), Any material or substance, which even in normal use,
poses a risk to health, safety, property or the environment. Hazardous materials are
broken down into nine primary classes by the United Nations, the USDOT, IATA and
other regulatory bodies for the purposes of the placarding and identification the hazards
of shipments.
HDPE (high density polyethylene), The structure is similar to PVC except that there is
no chlorine (Cl) associated with the molecule. The tight structure makes it very dense.
Heat, An energy form proportional to and associated with molecular motion.
Conduction, convection or radiation can transfer heat from one mass of matter to
another.
Heat of Fusion, The heat required to convert a solid into a liquid with no temperature
change. This is also called the latent heat of fusion or melting.
Heat of Vaporization, The heat required to convert a substance from the liquid to the
gaseous state with no temperature change. This is also called the latent heat of
vaporization.
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, the conclusion that it is impossible to know
simultaneously the absolute exact position and the absolute exact speed of a particle
such as an electron. The more precisely the position is known of a particle at a moment
in time, the less precisely can its speed be determined. Conversely the more precisely
the exact speed of a particle is known, the less precisely its position can be known.
Werner P. Heisenberg, a German physicist, developed this principle from his work with
quantum mechanics. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1932 for his brilliant
work.
As a side note, Star Trek fans will every now and then hear the crew refer to the
"Heisenberg compensator" in the transporter pads. This is the writer's nod to this
principle and the problems it would create for actually being able to teleport something
they way they do in the Star Trek series.
Heterogeneous, A mixture or material consisting of more than one substance. The
earth's atmosphere is heterogeneous in that it typically consists of 20.7% oxygen, 78%
nitrogen, 0.93% argon and 0.03% CO
2
with other gasses making up the remaining
percentage. Heterogeneous is Latin for "different kinds".
Homogeneous, A substance or material that contains only one kind of compound or one
element. Homogeneous is Latin for "the same kind". An example of a homogeneous

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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English
substance would be pure water, which only contains the compound H
2
O or pure table
salt that only contains the compound NaCl.
Hyaluronic acid, A viscous polysaccharide found in the connective tissue space and the
synovial fluid of movable joints and the humors of the eye; it protects tissue.




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I
IATA (International Air Transport Association), A Geneva Switzerland based
association that regulates international air transportation and publishes annual
regulations for air shipments of hazardous materials.
IDLH, Immediately dangerous to life and health. In the event of the accidental exposure
to a chemical, this is the concentration below which an individual could escape within
30 minutes without experiencing any escape-impairing or irreversible health effects.
Inert Gasses, See Noble Gasses.
Inner-Transition Metals, The thirty elements of the Lanthanides and Actinides series,
which are sub-series of the Transition Metals.
Inert, a chemically inactive element, compound or material. Because of their extremely
low chemical activity the noble gasses are considered to be inert substances. This term
is also used for substances that are added to mixtures, primarily for their bulk and
weight.
Interface, The area where two immiscible phases of a dispersion come into contact. It
may involve the same or different states of matter. There are five possible types:
liquid/liquid (oil/water), liquid/gas (water/air), liquid/solid (water/clay), solid/gas
(smoke/air), solid/solid (rubber carbon black).
Ion, An atom that has gained or lost one or more electrons and thus has either a positive
(cation) or negative (anion) charge.
Ionic radius, The radius exhibited by an ion in an ionic crystal where the ions are
packed together to a point where their outermost electronic orbitals are in contact with
each other.
IUPAC, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemists, the standards body that
among other things, makes recommendations regarding the names of newly discovered
elements and forms other chemistry related standards (such as the labeling of groups on
the periodic table).


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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English


K

Kelvin (absolute temperature), the temperature scale used in chemistry, physics and
some engineering calculations. Zero degrees Kelvin (-273 centigrade) is the temperature
at which all thermal motion ceases. To convert from Kelvin into centigrade subtract 273
from the Kelvin temperature.
Kinetic Energy, the energy associated with an object because of its motion.
Kinetic-Molecular Theory (kinetic theory), the theory that states a gas consists of
molecules in constant random motion.


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L
Label, A warning notice required to be placed on a package of hazardous materials by
the USDOT, IATA and other regulatory agencies when shipping a package by air,
highway, rail or water. Labels are akin to placards except that they are used on
individual packages and are typically 4" on each side.
Lanthanides (rare earth metals), The fourteen elements of the upper row on the inner-
transition metals on the periodic table that follow the element lanthanum (#57). Some
reference sources include lanthanum in this series others do not. For all of these
elements the filling orbital is 4f. This series is a sub-series of the transition metals.
LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene), This structure is similar to high density
polyethylene except that it is a less rigid and less dense form of the molecule.
Liquid, An amorphous (non-crystalline) form of matter between a gas and a solid that
has a definite volume, but no definite shape.




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M
Molality, is the number of moles of solute dissolved in one kilogram of solvent. Note:
be careful not to confuse molality and molarity. Molality is represented by a small "m,"
whereas molarity is represented by an upper case "M."
Molarity, the number of moles of a solute dissolved in a liter of solvent. Note: be
careful not to confuse molality and molarity. Molality is represented by a small "m,"
whereas molarity is represented by an upper case "M."
Molar Mass, is a unit that enables scientists to calculate the weight of any chemical
substance, be it an element or a compound. Molar mass is the sum of all of the atomic
masses in a formula.
Mole (mol), is the basic unit of measurement in chemistry. By definition, in modern
chemistry, one mole represents the number of carbon atoms in exactly 12 grams of
carbon 12 (C
12
).
Molecule, a complete chemical unit. While a molecule is often thought of as consisting
of more than one atom, this is not always true. For instance, helium has only one atom
per molecule. The oxygen molecule (O
2
) contains two atoms, as do chlorine (Cl
2
),
hydrogen (H
2
) and nitrogen (N
2
). Some molecules are huge having a molecular weight
in the millions. Macromolecules contain literally thousands of atoms. Some
macromolecules must remain in tact in order to retain their chemical entity. These are
usually proteins. Polymers are chains or networks of repeating sequences of chemical
units known as molecules. Examples are polypropylene or cellulose. Molecules of
polymers can be broken without destroying the chemical integrity.
Monatomic, elements that are present in the gaseous state as single atoms. These
elements are the noble gasses: He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe and Rn.
MRF (Municipal Recycle Facility), Facilities for recycling municipal waste. There are
dirty MRFs, which take all garbage as a collective and sort out the recycables at a
central facility, and there are clean MRFs that require recycables to be separated out by
the generator and are collected separately.
MSW (Municipal Solid Waste), Includes non-hazardous non-liquid waste generated in
households, commercial businesses, light industry and commercial establishments. The
exact definition varies from one municipality to another.
MWC (Municipal Waste Combustor), Are modern waste incinerators that are highly
regulated in terms of permissible emissions. They also produce energy either in the form
of steam or electricity.


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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English

N
Nanometer (nm), One billionth of a meter (10
-9
or 0.000000001 m) or ten Ångstroms.
Neutron, a particle of matter that has a mass of 1.009 amu but no electrical charge.
These particles are constituents of the nucleus of all elements except for hydrogen (H).
Neutrons can exist in a free state. Because neutrons have no electrical charge, free
neutrons have great penetrating capabilities and are highly damaging to living tissue.
The number of neutrons an element contains can vary (see neutron variability),
however, the average number of neutrons any particular element contains can be figured
by subtracting the atomic number of an element from it's atomic mass average and
rounding to the nearest whole number. When doing this, the resulting number should be
noted something similar to: "On average this element contains X neutrons."
NFPA 704, A hazards identification system developed by the National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA). This system rates the health, fire and reactivity hazards of a
chemical on a scale of 0-4 where zero is no hazard and four is an extreme hazard. In
addition this system notes special hazards such as acids, alkalis, corrosives, oxidizers,
radioactives or water reactives. This system is commonly used on containers of
chemicals or on buildings containing chemicals. Typically it is denoted by the use of a
diamond that is divided into four boxes, a blue box for health hazard, a red box for fire
hazard, a yellow box for reactivity, and a white box for special hazards.
NIMBY, "Not in my back yard!" The attitude that citizens' have against waste disposal
facilities (hazardous or non-hazardous) being built in or near their community, even
when it is their own community that generates the waste (hence New York city ships
much of their waste to Virginia). This mindset slows down permitting processes for
waste facilities of all types regardless of the safety measures employed and results from
citizens' basic distrust of waste management companies. Related Article
NIOSH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (United States). NIOSH
is responsible for undertaking research and developing recommended health and safety
standards.
Noble Gasses (inert gasses, rare gasses), elements belonging to Group 18 of the
periodic table. These elements are very unreactive, however, they are not nonreactive as
compounds containing these elements have been synthesized. There are no naturally
occurring compounds that are made up of these elements.
Nonmetal, elements that do not exhibit the characteristics of metals. These elements
differ markedly from metals in respect to electronegativity and thermal and electrical
conductivity. These elements, in general, are poor conductors and have a high
electronegativity. This series includes halogens, noble gasses and some of the
metalloids (B, Si, As and Te).

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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English
Nucleus, The core of an atom that contains at least one proton and one neutron (except
for hydrogen (H), which its most common nuclide doesn't have a neutron). This core is
positively charged and contains almost all of an atom's mass.
Nuclides (isotopes), Forms or species of an element that has the same numbers of
protons (hence the same atomic number), but different numbers of neutrons, thus
different atomic masses. Technically speaking if an element has only one form that is
there is no variability in the number of neutrons that exist in the element, it has no
isotopes. There are 21 elements that do not very in the number of neutrons in their
nuclei.


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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English

O

ONP, Refers to Old Newspapers for recycling.
Orbital, the area around an atom where according to orbital theory the probability of
finding an electron is the greatest.
Orbital Theory, the quantum theory matter that combines Schrodinger's wave
mechanics and Heisenburg's uncertainty principle and applies this to the behavior and
nature of electrons. Orbital theory was formulated in 1926 and has yielded a better
understanding of electrons and their critical role in chemical bonding than is possible
with Newtonian mechanics.
OSHA, United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This federal
agency is responsible for writing and enforcing federal regulations related to workplace
safety (Code of Federal Regulations Title 29).
Oxidation State (Oxidation Number), Either the actual charge of an atom (ion) in a
substance, assuming the atom exists as a monatomic ion, or a hypothetical charge
assigned by simple rules. 2) The charge an atom would have in a substance if the pairs
of electrons in each bond belonged to the more electronegative atom. 3) The number of
electrons that must be added or subtracted from an atom in a combined state to convert
it to the elemental form.
Generally the following rules for assigning oxidation numbers to an atom can be used:
In its elementary state the oxidation number of an atom is zero. For instance the
oxidation number for chlorine Cl
2
or oxygen O
2
is zero.
All Group IA (alkali metals) elements have an oxidation number of +1 in any
compound. All Group IIA (alkali earth metals) elements have an oxidation number of
+2 in any compound.
Fluorine has an oxidation number of -1 in all of its compounds.
Chlorine, bromine and iodine have an oxidation number of -1 in any compound of
halogen with a less electronegative element.
Usually oxygen has an oxidation number of -2 in a compound. Peroxides, like H
2
O
2
and
Na
2
O
2
, are the major exceptions to this and in these cases oxygen has an oxidation
number of -1.
Hydrogen has an oxidation number of +1 in most of its compounds. In hydrides
(compounds like NaH), however, in which hydrogen is bonded to metallic elements,
hydrogen has an oxidation number of -1.
The sum of the oxidation numbers of the atoms in a compound always equals zero. For
polyatomic ions, the oxidation numbers of the atoms add up to the charge of the ion.

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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English

P
Periodic Law, The electron configurations of the atoms of the elements vary
periodically with their atomic number. Consequently, all properties of the elements that
depend on their electron configuration tend also to change with the increasing atomic
number in a periodic manner.
Periodic Table, an arrangement of elements in a geometric pattern designed to
represent the periodic law by aligning elements into periods and groups. Elements with
the same number of orbitals are in the same period and elements with the same number
of electrons in the filling orbital and have other similar properties are in the same group.
Periods, While groups are characterized by the number of electrons present in the outer
shell, periods are characterized by the number of energy levels (shells) of electrons
surrounding the nucleus. Elements in Period 1 has only one shell. As you probably
recall, the elements in the first period have a 2 electrons maximum (hydrogen has 1
electron and helium has 2 electrons. As we move to the first group of the second period,
we find that lithium, which has the two electrons in the first shell and one in the second.
Neon is in Group 18 of Period 2 and therefore has the two electrons in the first shell and
eight electrons in the second shell. Sodium starts Period 3 with 11 electrons, two in the
first shell, eight in the second shell and one in the third shell. In other words, the
element in Group 1 always has one more electron (in a new shell) than the Group 18
element in the previous period.
Peritoneum, Lining of the abdominal organs and cavity.
Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL), The maximum allowable exposure set by OSHA
under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 29 Section 1910, Subpart Z.
pH, A scale ranging from 0 to 14, which is used to determine how acidic or basic a
substance is. The pH of a substance is determined by taking the negative of the
logarithm of the molar hydrogen-ion concentration (pH=-log [H+]). Pure water has a pH
of 7. Substances with a pH less than 7 are acids and substances with a pH greater than 7
are bases.
Photon, discrete concentrations of energy that move at the speed of light, have no rest
mass and can only be described in mathematical terms. The quantum unit of
electromagnetic radiation that makes up light waves, gamma rays, x-rays etc.
Pleura, The thin membrane enveloping the lungs and lining the thoracic cavity.
Pleural Effusion, Presence of fluid in the pleural cavity resulting from excessive
transudation or exudation from the pleural surfaces. It is a sign of disease and not a
diagnosis in itself.
Pleural plaques, areas of fibrosis present on the inner surface of the ribcage and the
diaphragm. They may be partly calcified
Placard, a warning sign measuring 10.8 inches on each side and standing on one point
(like a diamond), that is placed on the four vertical sides of the truck, rail car,

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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English
intermodal container or two sides of an intermediate bulk container containing
hazardous materials. Placards are required by the USDOT, Transport Canada,
Secretariat of Transport (Mexico) and other regulatory agencies around the world when
shipping hazardous materials by air, highway, rail or water.
Pneumoconiosis, a condition characterized by deposition of large amounts of
particulate matter or fibers in the lungs, usually of occupational or environmental origin,
and by the tissue reaction to its presence.
Positron, a positively charged particle of antimatter that has the same mass and spin of
an electron.
Principal Quantum Number, A positive integer constant that determines the principal
energy level of an electron. Sometimes it is designated by the letters K, L or M. Related
information
Precision, In measurement indicates a set of measurements that are very similar. They
may or may not be close to the true answer.
Proton, A particle of matter with a positive electrical charge and a mass of 1 amu or
1.67E
-24
g. Although a proton has a mass 1837 times greater than an electron, it is nearly
identical in mass to a neutron. Protons are constituents of the nuclei of all elements and
an elements atomic number is dependent upon how many protons an element has.
Pulmonary Fibrosis, Chronic inflammation and progressive fibrosis of the pulmonary
alveolar walls, usually results in death from oxygen lack or right heart failure.
PURPA (Public Utilities Regulatory and Policy Act), Created to encourage co-
generation and small power producers, PURPA requires investor owned utilities to
purchase electrical power from co-generators or small power producers.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), The polymerized form of chloroethene or vinyl chloride is
a matrix of double the bonded carbon molecule CH
2
=CHCl. The double bonds break
and become single bonds, and the vinyl chloride molecules become bonded to each
other. The result is PVC or polyvinyl chloride plastic. The burning of PVC results in the
formation of acid rain.



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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English


Q


Quantum, The tiniest amount of physical energy that can exist independently,
especially a finite amount of electromagnetic radiation.
Quantum (wave) Mechanics, A branch of physics that describes the wave properties of
subatomic particles mathematically.
Quantum Number, The basic unit of electromagnetic energy. This characterizes the
wave properties of electrons, as distinct from their particulate properties. This
determines the principle energy level of an electron.





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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English

R
Radiation (radiant energy), energy in the form of electromagnetic waves. Different
forms of radiation comprise the electromagnetic spectrum and are characterized by their
different wave frequency and wavelength. Radiation is emitted from matter in the form
of photons. The following types of radiation make up the electromagnetic spectrum (in
order of decreasing energy and increasing wavelength): cosmic rays, gamma rays, x-
rays, UV (ultraviolet) rays, visible light rays, infrared, microwave, radio (Hertzian)
waves and electric waves. These electromagnetic waves have no mass and are not
electrically charged. The shortest wavelength forms of radiation are most penetrating
and are the most damaging to living tissue.
Radioactivity, the spontaneous emission of radiation and atomic particles from unstable
elements. Radioactivity is measured in terms of half-lives and is not affected by
physical state or chemical combination.
Rare Earth Metals, see Lanthanides
Rare Gasses, see Noble Gasses
RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act), The principle law in the United
States that governs the disposal of solid waste and the management of both solid and
hazardous waste.
RDF (refuse derived fuel), a product of a mixed waste processing system from which
some recycleable wastes and som non-combustible materials have been removed. The
remaining material is used as a fuel to create energy.
Recommended Exposure Limit (REL), The maximum recommended exposure limit.
With the occasional exception in some jurisdictions, REL's are only suggested industry
practices and are not enforced by legal regulations (as are PEL's, which are regulated in
the U.S. by OSHA under 29 CFR).
Relative Error, the ratio of the absolute error to the exact value.
Relative error =(exact value - observed value)/(exact value)
RTECS, Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances.




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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English

S
Second Ionization Potential, To be defined
Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL), The maximum exposure limit to a substance
based on a 15 minute time weighted average.
Scientific Method, a research method that involves:
1. Making an observation
2. Developing a hypothesis
3. Experimentation
4. Testing and retesting (usually by many other scientists)
5. Developing a theory
6. If theory is proven beyond a doubt (e.g.: the law of gravity) a law may result
(rarely does the scientific method reach this degree of acceptance as fact)
Solution, a uniformly dispersed mixture of molecules or ions. The substance being
dissolved is the solute, while the substance into which the solute is dissolved is the
solvent.
Specific Gravity, the ratio of the density of a substance to the density of a reference
substance. Specific Gravity does not have any units. When water is used as the
reference material, specific gravity equals density (without units).
Specific Gravity (SG) = (Density of substance g/ml)/(Density of reference substance
g/ml).
Notice that g/ml cancels out so that there are no units associated with specific gravity.
Specific Gravity then becomes an abstract number.
Specific Heat, the ratio of heat capacity of a substance to the heat capacity of water.
Another way of looking at it is the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of
one gram of a substance by one degree centigrade or one degree Kelvin (1 J/gC = 1
J/gK).
Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP), the standard conditions of 273.15 K and
1 atm (0°C at sea level). used as a baseline for calculations involving quantities that
vary with temperature and pressure.
Stoichiometry, the quantitative relationship between chemical substances in a reaction.



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Dictionary Techincal: Chemistry English-English

U


UN/NA, Number
UN/NA ID (UN Number, NA Number, DOT Number), A four digit number
representing a particular chemical or group of chemicals. These numbers are assigned
by the United Nations (UN Numbers), the U.S. Department of Transportation (NA
Numbers), or Transport Canada (NA Numbers). These numbers are commonly used
throughout the world to aid in the quick identification of the materials contained within
bulk containers (such as rail cars, semi-trailers and intermodal containers).



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