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Chemistry in Action-Definitions
Activation Energy The minimum energy that a particle needs to
Aldehyde Organic compound, general formula= RCHO,
in which there is a C O double bond
Bond Dissociation Enthalpy The enthalpy change required to break a
covalent bond with all species in gaseous state
Catalyst A substance that alters the rate of a chemical
reaction but not used up in the reaction.
Provides an alternate pathway for a reaction
with a lower activation energy
Carbocation An organic ion in which one of the carbon
atoms has a positive charge
Carbon Neutral A process in which as much carbon dioxide is
absorbed from the air as is given out.
Disproportionation A redox reaction in which the oxidation
number of some atoms of a particular
element increases and that of other atoms of
the same element decrease
Dynamic Equilibrium A situation where the composition of a
reaction mixture does not change because
both forward and backward reactions are
proceeding at the same rate
Electrophile An electron deficient atom, ion or molecule
that takes part in an organic reaction by
attacking areas of high electron density in
another reactant
Electrophilic Addition A reaction in which a carbon-carbon double
bond is saturated and in which the initial
reaction is in attack by an electrophile
Elimination A reaction in which an atom or group of atoms
is removed from a reactant
Endothermic A reaction that takes heat in, the temperature
Enthalpy Change A measure of heat energy given out or taken
in when a chemical or physical change occurs
at constant pressure
Exothermic Heat is given out, the temperature rises
Free Radical A chemical species with an unpaired
electron-highly reactive
Heterogeneous Catalyst A catalyst in a different phase to the reactants
Homogenous Catalyst A catalyst in the same phase as the reactants
Ketone Organic compound with the general formula
R 2CO,
C O double bond
Leaving Group In an organic substitution reaction, the leaving
group is an atom or group of atoms that is
ejected from the starting material, normally
taking an electron pair and forming a negative
Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution The distribution of energies for a molecule
Nucleophile An ion or group of atoms with a negative
charge or a partially negatively charged area
that takes part in an organic reaction by
attacking an electron deficient area in another

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Nucleophilic Substitution An organic reaction in which a molecule with
a partially positively charged carbon atom is
attacked by a nucleophile.…read more


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