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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.

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Equation of State

An equation that describes the behavior of matter in a given state, the van der Waals equation describes the behavior of the gaseous state.

Acyl Group

Compound derived from a carbonic acid by replacing the --OH group with a halogen (X), usually --Cl, general formula is O R--C--X.

Fossil Fuels

Substances consisting largely of hydrocarbons, derived from decay of organic materials under geological conditions of high pressure and temperature (metamorphism) include coal, petroleum, natural gas, peat and oil shale.  For further information see Fuel Chemistry

Graham's Law

The rates of effusion of gases are inversely proportional to the square roots of their molecular weights or densities.

Boron Hydrides

Binary compounds of boron and hydrogen.

Inhibitory Catalyst

An inhibitor, a catalyst that decreases the rate of reaction.


Discovered : by Henry Cavendish in 1766.
Isolated in London, UK.
Origin : The name is derived from the Greek ‘hydro genes’, meaning water forming.
Description :A colourless, odourless gas that burns and can form an explosive mixture with air. It is currently manufactured from methane gas, but is also produced by the electrolysis of water and aqueous salts. The gas is used to make such key materials as ammonia, cyclohexane and methanol, which are intermediates in the production of fertilisers, plastics and pharmaceuticals. Some see hydrogen gas as the clean fuel of the future - generated from water and returning to water when it is oxidised. Hydrogen-powered fuel cells are increasingly being seen as pollution-free sources of energy.

Coordination Sphere

The metal ion and its coordinating ligands but not any uncoordinated counter-ions.

Conduction Band

A partially filled band or a band of vacant energy levels just higher in energy than a filled band, a band within which, or into which, electrons must be promoted to allow electrical conduction to occur in a solid.


One faraday of electricity corresponds to the charge on 6.022 x 1023 electrons, or 96,487.301 coulombs.