vocabulary collected through out the year

Question Answer
Accuracy The difference between a measurement and its accepted value
Conclusion The explanation of the results of an experiment as it applies to the hypothesis being tested
Control The variable that you would be testing for in a controlled experiment
Controlled experiment doing the experiment almost the same, but without the variable that you're testing for, so you can compare the results
Dependent variable In an experiment, the factor that changes in response to a change in the independent variable, also called the responding variable
Extrapolation The process of extending the values or terms of a series on either side of the known values, thus increasing the range of values
Hypothesis A testable proposal used to explain an observation or to predict the outcome of an experiment; often expressed in the form of “if…, then…”
Independent variable In an experiment, the factor that is selected or adjusted to see what effect the change will have on the dependent variable, also called the manipulated variable
Interpolation Forming an estimate of a value with reference to known values either side of it
Observation consists of receiving knowledge of the outside world through our senses, or recording information using scientific tools and instruments
Precision the practice in most experimental science, the framework pays attention to the number of digits in a floating point number. Comparisons of expected and actual results are made to a tolerance implied by the number of digits.
Prediction A forecast about what you expect to observe when you do an investigation
Principle explain the 'why' and 'how' of various phenomena
Procedure The steps in which you do an experiment
Scale A way of measuring quantities and values
Scientific Literacy one of several types of literacy: # written, # numerical and # digital
Slope The direction of a line on a graph, either horizontal (zero), or slanting up (positive), or slanting down (negative). Is calculated by determining the ratio of rise/run.
Uncertainty When scientists make a scientific prediction about a phenomenon, an impact or an outcome in nature, our bodies etc
Validity the extent to which a concept, conclusion or measurement is well-founded and corresponds accurately to the real world
Variable A factor that can influence the outcome of an experiment
Venn Diagram A chart used to compare the similarities and differences between things
abiotic relating to non living parts of an environment such as sunlight, soil, moisture, and temperature
acid precipitation/rain Precipitation abnormally high in sulfuric and nitric acid content that is caused by atmospheric pollutants
adaptation characteristics that enable organisms to better survive and reproduce
adaptive radiation the development of a number of new species from a common ancestor; the new species are adapted to inhabit different niches
algae Any of various chiefly aquatic, eukaryotic, photosynthetic organisms
annual precipitation the average amount of precipitation collected over a year
annual temperature he average temperature collected over a year
aquatic Of or relating to water
bacteria A member of a large group of unicellular microorganisms lacking organelles and an organized nucleus, including some that can cause disease
bioaccumulation the gradual build-up of synthetic and organic chemicals in living organisms
biodegradation the breaking down of dead organic matter by living organisms such as bacteria
biodiversity the variety of all living species of plants, animals, and microorganisms on earth
biomagnification the process in which chemicals not only accumulate but become more concentrated at each trophic level in a food pyramid
biome the largest division of the biosphere, which includes large regions with similar biotic components and similar abiotic components
biosphere the thin layer of air, land, and water, on or near earth's surface in which all living things on earth exist
biotic relating to living organisms such as plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria
carbon exchange the system whereby different countries exchange carbon credits
carbon sink a body or process (example plants, oceans, and soil) that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it
carbon store where carbon is accumalated and stored
carbonate a combination of carbon and oxygen that is dissolved in ocean water
carnivore secondary consumer that eats primary consumers and often other secondary consumers. They are often at the tertiary level of a food chain; also know as top carnivores
cellular respiration the process in which both plants and animals release carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere by converting carbohydrates and oxygen into carbon dioxide and water
climate the average conditions of the atmosphere (example precipitation, temperature, and humidity) in a large region over 30 years or more
climatograph a graph of climate data for a specific region; the data are usually obtained over 30 years from local weather observation stations
climax community a mature community, such as a boreal forest, tropical rainforest, grassland, or desert, that continues to change over time
commensalism a symbiotic relationship in which one species benefits and the other species is neither helped nor harmed
community all the populations of the different species that interact in a specific area or ecosystem
competition a harmful interaction between two or more organisms that can occur when organisms compete for the same resource in the same location at the same time
consumer an organism that eats other organisms (primary, secondary, tertiary)
DDT (dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane) an insecticide and well-known persistent organic pollutant, now banned in many countries
decomposers organisms that break down wastes and dead organisms and change them into usable nutrients available to other organisms
deforestation the clearing or loafing of forests without replanting
denitrification the process in which nitrogen is returned to the atmosphere
detrivore a consumer that feed at every trophic level, obtaining their energy and nutrients by eating dead organic matter
ecological hierarchy the order of biotic interactions and relationships in an ecosystem: organism, population, community, ecosystem
ecological pyramid a food pyramid. three types: pyramid of biomass, pyramid of numbers, and pyramid of energy
ecological succession (primary, secondary) changes that take place over time in the types of organisms that live in an area
ecology the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment
ecosystem a part of a biome in which abiotic components interact with biotic components
elevation the height of a land mass above sea level
estuary a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea
extinction the dying out of a species aka species number is reduced to zero
food chain a model that shows the flow of energy from plant to animal and from animal to animal
food pyramids a model that shows the loss of energy from one trophic level to another; often called an ecological pyramid
food web a model of the feeding relationships within an ecosystem; formed from interconnected food chains
foreign species introduced species
fossil fuel A natural fuel such as coal or gas, formed in the geological past from the remains of living organisms
grazing Grassland suitable for pasturage
habitat the place in which an organism lives
heavy metals metallic elements with a high density that are toxic to organisms at low concentrations
herbivores primary consumers that eat plants
host An animal or plant on or in which a parasite or commensal organism lives
keystone species species that can greatly affect population numbers and the health of an ecosystem
latitude the distance measured in degrees north or south from the equator
legumes A leguminous plant, esp. one grown as a crop
lichen A simple slow-growing plant that typically forms a low crustlike, leaflike, or branching growth on rocks, walls, and trees
lightning The occurrence of a natural electrical discharge of very short duration and high voltage between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud, accompanied by a bright flash and typically also thunder
mutualism a symbiotic relationship between two organisms in which both organisms benefit
native species plants and animals that naturally inhabit an area
natural selection the process in which, over time, the best-adapted members of a species will survive and reproduce. This process makes change in living things possible
niche the special role an organism plays in an ecosystem
nitrification the process in which ammonium is converted to nitrate
nutrients substances such as the chemicals nitrogen and phosphorus that are required by plants and animals for energy, growth, development, repair, or maintenance
omnivore consumer that eats both plants and animals
parasitism a symbiotic relationship in which one species benefits and another is harmed
PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) synthetic chemicals containing chlorine that are used in the manufacture of plastics and other industrial products, become stored in the tissue of animals, and also persist in the environment
pesticides a general term for chemicals that are used to eliminate pests, such as insecticides that kill insects and herbicides that kill weeds
pH how acidic or basic a solution is
phosphorus cycle the nutrient cycle in which phosphorus is moved through the biosphere
photosynthesis a process in which carbon dioxide enters the leaves of plants and reacts with water in the presence of sunlight to produce carbohydrates and oxygen
phytoplankton Plankton consisting of microscopic plants
pioneer species organisms such as lichens and other plants that are the first to survive and reproduce in an area
predation predator-prey interactions in which one organism eats all or part of another organism
producers organisms that produce food in the form of carbohydrates during photosynthesis
proliferation Rapid reproduction of a cell, part, or organism
soil degradation damage to soil
stability The state of being stable
symbiosis the interaction between members of two different species that live together in a close association
terrestrial relating to the land
top consumer/predator/carnivore one at the top of the food chain
toxin An antigenic poison or venom of plant or animal origin
trophic levels steps in a food chain that show feeding and niche relationships among organisms
zooplankton Plankton consisting of small animals and the immature stages of larger animals
acidic Having the properties of an acid, or containing acid; having a pH below 7
acids compounds containing hydrogen that produce a solution of a pH with less then 7 when they dissolve in water and that produce a salt and water when that react with ionic compounds containing hydroxide ions
alpha particle a positively charged atomic particle that is much more massive than either a beta particle or game radiation and is relatively slow moving; has same combination of particles as the nucleus of a helium atom
atomic mass The mass of an atom of a chemical element expressed in atomic mass units
atomic number the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom, which identifies the element to which the atom belongs
atom the smallest particle of any element that retains the properties of the element
bases chemical compounds containing hydroxide that produce a solution with a pH of more then 7 when they dissolve in water, and produce a salt and water when they react with ionic compounds containing positive hydrogen ions
basic Having the properties of a base, or containing a base; having a pH greater than 7
beta particle a high speed electron that is emitted by a radioactive nucleus in beta decay
bohr diagrams a diagram that shows the arrangement of an elements subatomic particles and the number of electrons in each shell surrounding the nucleus of an atom
bonding pair a pair of electrons involved in a covalent bond
bromothymol blue an acid-base indicator named after its color change from yellow to blue over a pH range of 6.0 to 7.6
catalyst a substance that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction without being changed or used up itself
chemical family/group A group of elements in the Periodic Table, or more commonly, compounds that share certain physical and chemical characteristics and a common name
combustion the rapid reaction of a compound or element with oxygen to form an oxide and to produce heat
compounds a pure substance that is composed of two or more atoms chemically combined in a specific way
concentration the amount of substance dissolved in a given volume of solution
conservation of mass the preservation of mass in a chemical reaction: the total mass of the products is always equal to the total mass of the reactants
covalent bonding the formation of a chemical bond between atoms through the sharing of one or more pairs of electrons
daughter product/isotope the stable product of radioactive decay
decay curve a curved line on a graph that shows the rate at which radioisotopes decay
decay product An isotope that results from the decay of an unstable atom
decomposition a chemical reaction in which a compound is broken down into two or more elements or simpler compounds
diatomic element composed only of two atoms, of either the same or different chemical elements
electron subatomic particles that have a 1- electric charge
fission a nuclear reaction in which a large nucleus breaks apart, producing two or more smaller nuclei, subatomic particles, and energy
fusion a process in which two low mass nuclei join together to make a more massive nucleus
gamma decay a process in which an isotope falls from a high energy state to a lower energy state, giving off a high energy gamma ray
half-life the time required for half the nuclei in a sample of a radioactive isotope to decay, which is a constant for any radioactive isotope
hydrocarbon an organic compound that contains only the elements carbon and hydrogen
indigo carmine an acid-base indicator named after its color change from blue to yellow over a pH range of 11.2-13.0
inorganic refers to compound that generally do not contain carbon
ionic bonding the bond that forms as a result of the attraction between positively and negatively charged ions
ions electrically charged particles created when atoms gain or los electrons
isotope different atoms of a particular element that have the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons
lewis diagrams a diagram that illustrates chemical bonding by showing only an atom's valence electrons and it's chemical symbol
litmus a compound extracted from various lichens
lone pair a pair of electrons in an atom's valence shell that is not used in bonding
mass number the total number of protons and neutrons found in the nucleus of an atom
metal oxide a compound containing a metal chemically combined with oxygen
methyl orange an acid-base indicator named after its color shane from red to yellow over a pH range of 3.2-4.4
methyl red an acid-base indicator named after its color shane from red to yellow over a pH range of 4.8-6.0
molecule a group of atoms in which the atoms are bound together by sharing one or more pairs of electrons
neutral neither acidic nor basic, has a pH of 7
neutralization (acid-base) the chemical reaction that occurs when an acid and a base react to form a salt and water
neutrons subatomic particles that do not have an electric charge
non-metal oxide a chemical compound that contains a non-metal chemically combined with oxygen
organic refers to almost all carbon-containf compounds
paired electrons valence electrons that are in pairs/together
parent isotope the isotope that undergoes radioactive decay
period each row of elements in the periodic table
pH indicators chemicals that change color depending on the pH of the solution they are placed in
pH scale a number scale for measuring how acidic or basic a solution is
phenolphthalein a chemical compound that is colorless in acidic or slightly basic solutions but turns pink in moderately basic to highly basic solutions
polyatomic ion a molecular ion that carries a charge and is composed of more than one type of atom joined by covalent bonds
protons subatomic particles that hace a 1+ (positive) electric charge
radiation high-energy rays and particles emitted by radioactive sources
radioactive decay the process in which the nuclei of radioactive parent isotopes emit alpha, beta, or gamma radiation to form decay products
salts a class of ionic compounds that can be formed during the reaction of an acid and a base
shells/orbits the place in the atom surrounding the nucleus where the electrons are located
single replacement describing a chemical reaction in which a reactive element and a compound react to produce another element and another compound
standard atomic notation/isotope notation represents an element by showing its mass number and atomic number. two small numbers to the left of it: number on bottom is atomic number/ number of protons, top number is the mass number which is the number of neutrons and number protons added together
surface area the measure of how much area of an object is exposed
double replacement describing a chemical reaction that usually involves two ionic solutions reacting to produce two other ionic compounds, either or both of which produce a precipitate
symbolic equations a set of chemical symbols and formulas that identify the reactants and products in a chemical reaction
synthesis a chemical reaction in with two or more reactants combine to produce a single product
unpaired electrons valence electrons that are "alone"
valence electron the elections in the outermost shell (valence shell) of an electron
acceleration (positive, zero, negative) the rate at which an object changes its velocity
displacement the straight-line
distance distance and direction from one point to another
magnitude a number that rates the strength (energy) of an earthquake
position a vector quantity that describes a specific point relative to a reference point
slope the direction off a line on a graph, either horizontal (zero), slanting up (positive), or slanting down (negative). calculated by determining rise/run
speed the distance an object travels during a given time interval divided by the time interval
time interval the deference between the final time and the initial time
uniform motion traveling in equal displacements in equal time intervals
velocity the displacement of an object during a time interval divided by the time interval
aerosol A substance enclosed under pressure
atmospheres layers of gases that extend above a plants surface
barometer an instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure
climate change changes in long-term weather patterns in certain regions
condensation Water that collects as droplets on a cold surface when humid air is in contact with it
coriolis effect a change in the direction of moving air, water, or objects due to earth's rotation
el nino southern oscillation a system of ocean and atmosphere changes in the tropical pacific region, including el nino and la nina events
kinetic energy the energy of a particle or object due to its motion
potential energy the stored energy of an object or particle due to its position or state
energy budget Measure of energy entering and leaving a system, such as Earth's climate system
evaporation lose or cause to lose liquid by vaporization leaving a more concentrated residue
gradient The degree of steepness of a graph at any point
greenhouse gases gases in earths atmosphere that absorb and trap radiation as thermal energy
heat the amount of thermal energy that transfers from an area or object of higher thermal energy to an area or object of lower thermal energy
heat budget A listing of all the sources of heat transfers for some thermodynamic system, to account for the total heat transfers into or out of the system
heat flow/transfer the movement of heat from one place to another
hurricanes tropical cyclones
conduction the transfer of thermal energy from one substance to another or within a solid by direct contact of particles
convection the transfer of thermal energy within a fluid and with the movement of fluid from one place to another
radiation high-energy rays and particles emitted by radioactive sources
insulator A substance that does not readily allow the passage of heat or sound
kilopascal (kPa) the SI unit that measure the vertical force of atmospheric pressure per unit area
Kinetic Molecular Theory the theory that all matter is composed of particles moving constantly in random directions
la nina cooler-than-normal water coming to the surface in the eastern pacific ocean due to upwelling
ozone layer the atmospheric layer that absorbs much of the ultraviolet radiation from the sun
permafrost ground that remains frozen year-round
pressure (atmospheric, within the earth) the amount of force per unit area
temperature a measure of the average kinetic energy of all the particles in a sample of matter
thermal energy the total energy of all the particles in a solid, liquid, or gas
thermocline a transition zone that separates the cold, deep ocean waters from the sun-warmed surface waters
tornado a violent, funnel shaped column of rotating air that touches the ground
winds (prevailing, surface) the movement of air from an area of higher pressure to an area of lower pressure
asthenosphere a partly molten later in earths upper mantle just below the lithosphere
continental drift theory the theory that the continents have not always been in their present locations but have moved there over millions of years
cross section (vs. map view) the probability that a particular interaction will take place between particles
crust (continental, oceanic) earth's outermost layer
density The degree of compactness of a substance
earthquake a sudden, ground-shaking release of built-up energy at or under earth's surface
epicenter the point on earth's surface directly above the focus where an earthquake starts
faults large breaks in rock layers
focus the location inside earth where an earthquake starts
geologic time the time of the physical formation and development of the earth
hot spot an area where molten rock rises to earth's surface
inner core earth's solid center
lithosphere the later of Earth made up of the crust and uppermost mantle and ranging in thickness from 65 km to 100 km
magnetic polarity (normal, reverse) the state of being a north pole or south pole
magnetic reversal the process in which earth's magnetic field, over thousands of years, completely reverses its direction
magnetometer An instrument used for measuring magnetic forces, esp. the earth's magnetism
mantle earth's thickest layer, lying just below the crust and making up 7- percent of earth's volume
mantle convection a recurring current that occurs when hotter, less dense material rises, cools, and then sinks again
mantle plume A mantle plume is an upwelling of abnormally hot rock within the Earth's mantle
mid-ocean ridge an underwater volcanic mountain range, found at the boundaries between separating plates
mountain range A line of mountains connected by high ground
outer core the layer below earth's mantle
paleoglaciation the extent of ancient glaciers
plate boundary where two plate "meet"
convergent when plates collide
divergent when plates are spreading apart
transform when plates slide next to eachother
plate tectonic theory the theory that the lithosphere is broker up into large later that move and then rejoin
primary waves (P waves) a type of seismic body wave that travels at about 6 km/s though earth's crust causing the ground to move in the direction of the wave's motion
ridge push the process in which new material at a ridge or rift pushes older material aside, moving the tectonic plates away from the ridge
rift valley a steep-sided valley formed on land when magma rises to earth's surface at a spreading center
seafloor spreading the process in which magma rises to earth's surface at spreading ridges and, as it continues to rise, pushes older rock aside
secondary waves (S-waves) a type of seismic body (underground) wave that travels at about 3.5 km/s, causing the ground to move perpendicular to the direction of the wave's motion
seismogram a record of ground motion
seismograph An instrument that measures and records details of earthquakes
seismometer instruments that measure motions of the ground, including those of seismic waves generated by earthquakes, nuclear explosions, and other seismic sources
slab pull the pulling of a tectonic plate as its edge subducts deep into the mantle
spreading ridge the region where magma breaks through earth's surface, continually forcing apart old rock and forming a new sea floor
subduction the action of one plate pushing underneath another
subduction zone areas of subduction, which typically experience large earthquakes and volcanic eruptions
supercontinent (pangea) a large landmass consisting of all the continents that was said to have existent long ago
surface waves (L-waves) seismic waves that ripple along earth's surface
tectonic plates the large slabs of rock that form earth's surface, moving over a layer of partly molten rock
transform fault a fault that occurs at a transform plate boundary
trench a deep underwater valley that is formed when an oceanic plate collides with a continental plate and is forced to slide beneath it
volcanic belt a long chain of volcanoes
volcanic island arc a long chain of volcanic islands
volcano an opening in earth's surface that, when active, spews out gases, chunks of rock, and melted rock

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