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The universe tends toward a state of greater diorder in spontaneous processes.

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Reversible Reaction

Reactions that do not go to completion and occur in both the forward and reverse direction.

Excited State

Any state other than the ground state of an atom or molecule.

Clay

A class of silicate and aluminosilicate minerals with sheet-like structures that have enormous surface areas that can absorb large amounts of water.

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Born-Haber Cycle

A series of reactions (and accompanying enthalpy changes) which, when summed, represents the hypothetical one-step reaction by which elements in their standard states are converted into crystals of ionic compounds (and the accompanying enthalpy changes.)

Heterogeneous Equilibria

Equilibria involving species in more than one phase.

Strong Field Ligand

Ligand that exerts a strong crystal or ligand electrical field and generally forms low spin complexes with metal ions when possible.

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.

Absolute Entropy (of a substance)

The increase in the entropy of a substance as it goes from a perfectly ordered crystalline form at 0 °K (where its entropy is zero) to the temperature in question.

Entropy is a measure of the “dilution” of thermal energy.

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.