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The Chemical Glossary currently has 651 chemical entries. You may search the Chemical Glossary by entering the keyword in the search box or by browsing the entire chemical glossary by letter in alphabetical order.

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Potential Energy

Energy that matter possesses by virtue of its position, condition or composition.


Plating a metal onto a (cathodic) surface by electrolysis.

Binding Energy (nuclear binding energy)

The energy equivalent (E = mc^2) of the mass deficiency of an atom.  where: E = is the energy in joules, m is the mass in kilograms, and c is the speed of light in m/s^2

Optical Isomers

Stereoisomers that differ only by being nonsuperimposable mirror images of each other, like right and left hands, also called enantiomers.

Differential Thermometer

A thermometer used for accurate measurement of very small changes in temperature.

Chain Termination Step

The combination of two radicals, which removes the reactive species that propagate the change reaction.


A term used to describe molecules and polyatomic ions that have one atom in center and four atoms at the corners of a tetrahedron.

Critical Point

The combination of critical temperature and critical pressure of a substance.

Acidic Salt

A salt containing an ionizable hydrogen atom. Acidic salt does not necessarily produce acidic solutions.

Oxidation Numbers

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).