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Arbitrary numbers that can be used as mechanical aids in writing formulas and balancing equations, for single- atom ions they correspond to the charge on the ion, more electronegative atoms are assigned negative oxidation numbers (also called Oxidation states).

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Alpha (a) Particle

Helium ion with 2+ charge, an assembly of two protons and two neutrons.

Law of Conservation of Matter

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

Actinides

Elements 89 to 103 (between lawrencium and actinium) on the periodic table. Only the first four have been found in nature in appreciable amounts. The remainder have been produced synthetically.

Nitrogenases

A class of enzymes found in bacteria within root nodules in some plants, which catalyze reactions by which N2 molecules from the air are converted to ammonia.

 

Salt Bridge

A U-shaped tube containing electrolyte, which connects two half-cells of a voltaic cell.

Control Rods

Rods of materials such as cadmium or boron steel that act as neutron obsorbers (not merely moderaters) used in nuclear reactors to control neutron fluxes and therfore rates of fission.

Nuclear Fission

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

Levorotatory

Refers to an optically active substance that rotates the plane of plane polarized light counterclockwise, also called levo.

Resonance

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.

Bond Order

Half the numbers of electrons in bonding orbitals minus half the number of electrons in antibonding orbitals. Bond order gives an indication to the stability of a bond. Also defined as the difference between the number of bonding electrons and antibonding electrons divided by two.