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The range of concentrations over which a flammable vapour mixed with proper ratios of air will ignite or explode if a source of ignitions is provided.

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Sigma Bonds

Bonds resulting from the head-on overlap of atomic orbitals, in which the region of electron sharing is along and (cylindrically) symmetrical to the imaginary line connecting the bonded atoms.

Optical Isomers

Stereoisomers that differ only by being nonsuperimposable mirror images of each other, like right and left hands, also called enantiomers.

Born-Haber Cycle

A series of reactions (and accompanying enthalpy changes) which, when summed, represents the hypothetical one-step reaction by which elements in their standard states are converted into crystals of ionic compounds (and the accompanying enthalpy changes.)

Quantum Mechanics

Mathematical method of treating particles on the basis of quantum theory, which assumes that energy (of small particles) is not infinitely divisible.

Autoionization

An ionization reaction between identical molecules.

Geometrical Isomers

Compounds with different arrangements of groups on either side of a bond with restricted rotation, such as a double bond or a single bond in a ring, for example cis-trans isomers of certain alkenes. Stereoisomers that are not mirror images of each other, also known as position isomers.

Homologous Series

A series of compounds in which each member differs from the next by a specific number and kind of atoms.

Oxidation

An algebraic increase in the oxidation number, may correspond to a loss of electrons.

Electron Configuration

Specific distribution of electrons in atomic orbitals of atoms or ions.

Endothermic

Describes processes that absorb heat energy.