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Chemistry Basics Terms


A subunit of a single element that consists of a nucleus and electrons surrounding the nucleus.

Atomic Number

The number of protons present in one atom. This number determines the identity of the element.


Glass containers that hold liquid or other material.

Bond Strength

This is a phrase that is used to refer to how tight two atoms are holding on to each other.

Bunsen Burner

Open flame heat source used in the lab.

Chemical Fume Hood

A piece of equipment, commonly used in chemistry labs, that enables scientists to work with toxic or dangerous substances. It looks like a large box with a glass window; air is circulated inside of the box.

Chemical Change

A transformation where the identity of a chemical is changed. For example, when two chemicals react together to make a new chemical, something profound has happened at the atomic level. Atoms have joined together in new ways to create a new substance.

Chemical Compound

Multiple atoms bonded, or "stuck," together. A chemical compound must consist of atoms from at least two different types of elements.

Chemical Reaction

In a chemical reaction, a chemical change must occur; the hallmark of any chemical reaction is the creation of a new substance. Physical changes can also occur during a chemical reaction.


The study of matter.


Ability to burn.


Porcelain contain used to burn material since it can withstand high temperatures.


A negatively charged atomic particle.


An element is a pure substance that can be separated from other matter. In addition, it cannot be broken down further by chemical means.

Erlenmeyer Flask

Container used in laboratory with narrow neck.


Capable of being on fire.


Has one wide end and one narrow end to cleanly transfer substances (usually liquid).


Any container that is made from glass such as beakers or flasks.


Protective eyewear.

Graduated Cylinder

A measuring cylinder used for accurate liquid or volume measurements.


Source of heat without open flame.

Materials Safety Data Sheet

(MSDS) Documentation of chemicals that show safe practices and disposals of a chemical.


A positively charged center at the heart of an atom. The nucleus contains neutrons and protons.

Periodic Table

A means of organizing all known existing elements. Elements are sorted into families based on common characteristics. The periodic table also provides a quick summary of the atomic makeup of any element.

Phase (or State) Of Matter

This is a phrase used to indicate whether a substance is in solid, liquid, or gaseous form.

Physical Change

A change where the identity of the chemical does not change, but the phase does. For example, melting ice is an example of physical change because frozen H2O and liquid H2O are both still just H2O.


Device to extract liquid; dropper like device.


A step method of completing a task.


The chemical compounds resulting from a chemical reaction. In a chemical equation, the products are listed on the right hand side of the arrow.


A positively charged atomic particle. The number of protons in an atom determines the identity of the atom; for example, carbon atoms always have 6 protons.


Material with particles that emit from unstable nuclei.


The chemicals that are present before a chemical reaction takes place. They react together to produce new chemical compounds. In a chemical equation, reactants are listed on the left hand side of the arrow.


Guidelines to follow.

Testube Holder

Plier- like devices to hold test tubes.


Device that measures the temperature of a substance.


Large metal Plier-like device used to pick up or hold hot objects.




Safety procedure to gain the odor of a chemical.

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