In this section, we will introduce chemistry. This topic is reflected in every facet of your life, and is an area of great importance in English science.

This section will help you learn about chemistry and its vocabulary, :

  • A comprehensive definition of chemistry.
  • The main key-words.
  • The groups of chemical elements.
  • Vocabulary lists by families.
  • Vocabulary list on chemical reactions.
  • Vocabulary list on chemical equipment.
  • Vocabulary list on units of measurement.

It’s a lot of work, but we’ve made it easy for you to find your way around.

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What is chemistry?

It is a science which studies the various compounds of matter, it analyses their principles, investigates their combinations and inspects the generated effects.

List of key-words on chemistry terms

Word Definition
Atom A fragment of a chemical component constituting the tiniest quantity able to be associated with another element
Electron A negatively charged particle that comprises the external part of the atom
Ion An ion is an atom or molecule that has gained or lost one or more electrons.
Molecule A set of at least two atoms, identical or not, chemically attached to each other
Neutron An elementary particle, constitutive of the atomic nucleus. One exception is the normal hydrogen nucleus. It is electrically neutral
Nucleus The internal part of an atom. It is composed of neutrons and protons
Proton A particle that makes up the nucleus of an atom and has a positive charge identical to that of the electron

List of vocabulary words on basic chemistry terms

Vocabulary in the Alkali metal family

Word Definition
Cesium A chemical element with atomic number 55, symbol Cs, the most alkaline of the alkali metals
Lithium A chemical element with atomic number 3, symbol Li. It is an alkali metal
Potassium An altomic element with atomic number 19, symbol K, alkali metal found in potash

Vocabulary in the Alkaline earth metals family

Word Definition
Barium A chemical element with atomic number 56, symbol Ba. Properties similar to those of lime
Beryllium A chemical element with the symbol Be and atomic number 4. The best known gemstones from it are the emerald and the aquamarine
Calcium A chemical element with atomic number 20, symbol Ca. It is the fifth most profuse element in the earth’s crust
Magnesium It is the ninth most abundant element in the universe. As a result from the successive sum of three helium nuclei to one carbon nucleus

Some vocabulary in the Lanthanides family

Word Definition
Cerium A chemical element with atomic number 58 and symbol Ce. It is part of the lanthanide and rare earth series
Europium A chemical element, symbol Eu and atomic number 63. Europium is the most reactive of the rare earth elements
Lanthanum A chemical element, with symbol La and atomic number 57. Lanthanum remained concealed in cerium oxide for a very long time

Some vocabulary in the Actinides family

Word Definition
Plutonium A chemical element with the symbol Pu and atomic number 94. It is a transuranic radioactive metal of the actinide group
Uranium A chemical element with atomic number 92, symbol U. It is of the actinide family. It is a very long-life radioactive heavy metal

Some vocabulary in the Transition metals family

Word Definition
Chromium A chemical element with atomic number 24, symbol Cr. Its single element is a transition metal
Cobalt A chemical element with atomic number 27, symbol Co. It has similar physical properties to iron and nickel. Natural cobalt minerals can be used in the form of paints, enamels or varnish
Copper A chemical element with atomic number 29, symbol Cu. The simple body copper is a metal
Gold A chemical element with the atomic number 79, symbol Au. The simple body gold is a noble, precious metal whose colour is golden yellow
Iron A chemical element with atomic number 26, symbol Fe. The simple body is the most common ferromagnetic metal and material in everyday life, most frequently made of various alloys
Nickel A chemical element with atomic number 28, symbol Ni. The simple body nickel is a metal
Platinum A chemical element with atomic number 78, symbol Pt. Platinum is a corrosion-proof noble metal It is one of the eight strategic raw classified as essential in wartime
Silver Silver is the chemical element with atomic number 47, symbol Ag. Between copper and gold. Hardly or not oxidisable in air, all three are used to mint coins
Titanium Titanium is the chemical element with atomic number 22, symbol Ti. It is used in light and strong alloys and its main sources are rutile and anatase
Tungsten A chemical element with atomic Number 74, symbol W It is used in its pure form in electrical applications but in the shape of alloys, it is suitable for the production of tools requiring great hardness such as drills, abrasive powders etc.
Zirconium Zirconium is the chemical element with atomic number 40, symbol Zr. It is a transition metal and the most aged of all elements on earth

Some vocabulary in the Poor metal family

Word Definition
Aluminium A chemical element with atomic number 13, symbol Al. The simple body aluminium is a malleable, silvery metal that is hardly altered by air and is of low density
Lead A chemical element with atomic number 82, symbol Pb. Usually, the simple body lead is a malleable, bluish-grey metal, which gradually bleaches on oxidation. It is poisonous, mutagenic and dangerous for reproduction
Mercury Mercury is the chemical element with atomic number 80, symbol Hg. The simple body mercury is a metal, liquid and slightly viscous. It was once used for thermometers and batteries
Tin Tin is the chemical element with atomic number 50, symbol Sn. It has been used since ancient times to protect tableware from oxidation and to prepare bronze
Zinc A chemical element with atomic number 30 and symbol Zn. It has five stable natural isotopesA chemical element with atomic number 30 and symbol Zn. It has five stable natural isotopes

Some vocabulary in the Metalloids family

Word Definition
Arsenic The chemical element with atomic number 33, whose symbol is As. The corresponding simple body is a silvery crystalline solid
Silicon Silicon is the chemical element with atomic number 14, symbol Si. It is a tetravalent metalloid and is the most abundant element in the earth’s crust after oxygen

Some vocabulary in the Non-metal family

Word Definition
Carbon A chemical element with atomic number 6 and symbol C. It possesses three natural isotopes. Two are stable and a third is radioactive with a half-life
Hydrogen Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1, symbol H. It is formed of three isotopes: Protium, Deuterium and Tritium,.The latest is radioactive
Nitrogen Nitrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 7, symbol N. The minerals containing nitrogen are predominantly nitrates. It is mainly used for industrial purposes
Oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element with atomic number 8, symbol O. It is the third most abundant element in the universe and constitutes 62.5% of the mass of the human body
Phosphorus Phosphorus is the chemical element with atomic number 15, symbol P. White phosphorus emits, by chemiluminescence, visible light in the dark when exposed to air. Due to a rapid decrease in resources, it is classified as a critical mineral raw material
Sulfur It is the chemical element with atomic number 16, symbol S. It is an essential element for all living beings. It is used mainly to prepare sulphuric acid which is the basic product of the chemical industry

Some vocabulary in the noble gases

Word Definition
Helium Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2, symbol He. Helium has two stable isotopes: helium 4, and less abundant helium 3. The various uses of Hélium is growing rapidly
Neon Neon is the chemical element with atomic number 10, symbol Ne. It is one of the most abundant elements in the universe, but it is rare on earth, it is present mainly in the earth’s atmosphere and in some minor quantities in rocks
Radon Radon is the chemical element with atomic number 86, symbol Rn. All the known isotopes of this gas are radioactive

List of words on chemical reactions

Word Definition
Combustion Combustion is a chemical reaction producing a transfer of electrons by thermal

action

Corrosion Corrosion is the chemical reaction damaging a material in contact with an oxidising agent

List of words on chemical equipment

Word Definition
Centrifuge A centrifuge is a device that induces acceleration by rapid rotation. It is used to accelerate the decantation of separate products of different density
Gas-liquid contactor A gas-liquid contactor is used for mass and heat transfer between a gas phase and a liquid phase
Pipette A pipette is a tool used to sample a solution
Refractometer It measures the limiting angle of refraction of a material

List of words on the chemical units of measurement

Word Definition
Einstein A unit of measurement of the light energy absorbed by one mole of reagent
Electronvolt An Electronvolt is a unit of measurement of energy

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