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Equilibria involving only one species in a single phase. For example, all gases, all liquids or all solids.

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Optical Activity

The rotation of plane polarized light by one of a pair of optical isomers.


Ideal Solution

A solution that obeys Raoult's Law exactly.

Coordination Isomers

Isomers involving exchanges of ligands between complex cation and complex anion of the same compound.


The ability of a substance to be broken down into simpler substances by bacteria.



The concept in which two or more equivalent dot formulas for the same arrangement of atoms (resonance structures) are necessary to describe the bonding in a molecule or ion.

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

Electromotive Series

The relative order of tendencies for elements and their simple ions to act as oxidizing or reducing agents, also called the activity series.


A form of energy that flows between two samples of matter because of their differences in temperature.

Supercritical Fluid

A substance at temperature above its critical temperature.

Dipole Moment

The product of the distance separating opposite charges of equal magnitude of the charge, a measure of the polarity of a bond or molecule, a measured dipole moment refers to the dipole moment of an entire molecule.