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An element below and to the left of the stepwise division (metalloids) in the upper right corner of the periodic table, about 80% of the known elements are metals.

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Chemistry of the sky

Chemistry can teach us about the composition of celestial bodies and determine their age.

Oxidation

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

Aufbau ('building up') Principle

Describes the order in which electrons fill orbitals in atoms.

Donor Atom

A ligand atom whose electrons are shared with a Lewis acid.

Mass Number

The sum of the numbers of protons and neutrons in an atom, an integer.

Isomorphous

Refers to crystals having the same atomic arrangement.

Curie (Ci)

The basic unit used to describe the intensity of radioactivity in a sample of material. One curie equals 37 billion disintegrations per second or approximately the amount of radioactivty given off by 1 gram of radium.

Rate-determining Step

The slowest step in a mechanism, the step that determines the overall rate of reaction.

Voltage

Potential difference between two electrodes, a measure of the chemical potential for a redox reaction to occur.

Mechanism

The sequence of steps by which reactants are converted into products.