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Absorption of a K shell (n=1) electron by a proton as it is converted to a neutron.

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Antibonding Orbital

A molecular orbital higher in energy than any of the atomic orbitals from which it is derived, lends instability to a molecule or ion when populated with electrons, denoted with a star (*) superscript or symbol.

Reaction Quotient

The mass action expression under any set of conditions (not necessarily equlibrium), its magnitude relative to K determines the direction in which the reaction must occur to establish equilibrium.


Sand, rock, and other impurities surrounding the mineral of interest in an ore.

Nonbonding Orbital

A molecular orbital derived only from an atomic orbital of one atom, lends neither stability nor instability to a molecule or ion when populated with electrons.

Law of Definite Proportions (Law of Constant Composition)

The law stating that a pure substance will always have the same percent by weight. Different samples of a pure compound always contain the same elements in the same proportions by mass.

Nuclear Fission

The process in which a heavy nucleus splits into nuclei of intermediate masses and one or more protons are emitted.

Law of Conservation of Matter

There is no detectable change in the quantity of matter during an ordinary chemical reaction.


A compound that contains more than one double bond per molecule.


A measure of the intensity of heat, i.e. the hotness or coldness of a sample. or object.

Cell Potential

Potential difference, Ecell, between oxidation and reduction half-cells under nonstandard conditions.