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A substance that takes in radiation.
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Special feature that makes an organism particularly well suited to the environment where it lives.
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Adult cell cloning
Process in which the nucleus of an adult cell of one animal is fused with an empty egg from another animal. The embryo which results is placed inside the uterus of a third animal to develop.
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The nutrient jelly on which many microorganisms are cultured.
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Saturated hydrocarbon with the general formula CnH2n+2, for example methane, ethane and propane.
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Unsaturated hydrocarbon which contains a carbon-carbon double bond. The general formula is CnH2n, for example ethene C2H4
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A mixture of metals (and sometimes non-metals). For example, brass is a mixture of copper and zinc.
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A low density, corrosion-resistant metal used in many alloys, including those used in the aircraft industry.
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The height of a wave crest or a wave trough of a transverse wave from the rest position.
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Angle of incidence
Angle between the incident ray and the normal.
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Angle of reflection
Angle between the reflected ray and the normal.
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Drug that destroys bacteria inside the body without damaging human cells.
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Asexual reproduction
Reproduction that involves only one individual with no fusing of gametes to produce the offspring. The offspring are identical to the parent.
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The relatively thin layer of gases that surround planet Earth.
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The smallest part of an element that can still be recognised as that element.
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Atomic number
The number of protons (which equals the number of electrons) in an atom. It is sometimes called the proton number.
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A plant hormone that controls the responses of plants to light (phototropism) and to gravity (gravitropism).
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Single-celled microorganisms that can reproduce very rapidly. Many bacteria are useful, for example, gut bacteria and decomposing bacteria, but some cause disease.
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Part of the radio and microwave spectrum used for communications.
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Base load
Constant amount of electricity generated by power stations.
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Big Bang theory
The theory that the universe was created in a massive explosion (the Big Bang) and that the universe has been expanding ever since.
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Materials that can be broken down by microorganisms.
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Fuel for cars made from plant oils.
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Fuel made from animal or plant products.
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Process of extraction of metals from ores using microorganisms.
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Biological material from living or recently living organisms.
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Blast furnace
The huge reaction vessels used in industry to extract iron from its ore.
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Decrease in the wavelength of electromagnetic waves emitted by a star or galaxy due to its motion towards us. The faster the speed of the star or galaxy, the greater the blue-shift is.
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The line along which two substances meet.
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Calcium carbonate
The main compound found in limestone. It is a white solid whose formula is CaCO3.
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Calcium hydroxide
A white solid made by reacting calcium oxide with water. It is used as a cheap alkali in industry.
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Calcium oxide
A white solid made by heating limestone strongly, for example, in a lime kiln.
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Carbon cycle
The cycling of carbon through the living and non-living world.
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Carbon monoxide
A toxic gas whose formula is CO.
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An animal that eats other animals.
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Cast iron
The impure iron taken directly from a blast furnace.
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A building material made by heating limestone and clay.
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Central nervous system (CNS)
The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord where information is processed.
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Charles Darwin
The Victorian scientist who developed the theory of evolution by a process of natural selection.
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Chemical energy
Energy of an object due to chemical reactions in it.
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Thread-like structure carrying the genetic information found in the nucleus of a cell.
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Offspring produced by asexual reproduction that is identical to the parent organism.
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The process of burning.
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The process by which living organisms compete with each other for limited resources such as food, light or reproductive partners.
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Compost heap
A site where garden rubbish and kitchen waste are decomposed by microorganisms.
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A substance made when two or more elements are chemically bonded together. For example, water (H2O) is a compound made from hydrogen and oxygen.
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Squeezed together.
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A building material made by mixing cement, sand and aggregate (crushed rock) with water.
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Turning from water vapour into liquid.
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Transfer of energy from particle to particle in matter.
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Material/object that conducts.
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Conservation of energy
Energy cannot be created or destroyed.
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Contraceptive pill
A pill containing female sex hormones which is used to prevent conception.
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Transfer of energy by the bulk movement of a heated fluid.
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Convection current
The circular motion of matter caused by heating in fluids.
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Copper-rich ore
Rock that contains a high proportion of a copper compound.
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The centre of the Earth.
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Cosmic microwave background radiation
Electromagnetic radiation that has been travelling through space ever since it was created shortly after the Big Bang.
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Cost effectiveness
How much something gives value for money when purchase, running and other costs are taken into account.
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Covalent bond
The attraction between two atoms that share one or more pairs of electrons.
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The reaction used in the oil industry to break down large hydrocarbons into smaller, more useful ones. This occurs when the hydrocarbon vapour is either passed over a hot catalyst or mixed with steam and heated to a high temperature.
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The outer solid layer of the Earth.
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Culture medium
A substance containing the nutrients needed for microorganisms to grow.
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Microorganism that breaks down waste products and dead bodies.
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Change the shape of an enzyme so that it can no longer speed up a reaction.
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A mental illness that involves feelings of great sadness that interfere with everyday life.
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Detritus feeder
See definition for Decomposer.
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The spreading of waves when they pass through a gap or around the edges of an obstacle that has a similar size as the wavelength of the waves.
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When one element takes the place of another in a compound. For example, iron + copper sulphate --> iron sulphate + copper.
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Separation of a liquid from a mixture by evaporation followed by condensation.
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Doppler effect
The change of wavelength (and frequency) of the waves from a moving source due to the motion of the source towards or away from the observer.
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Double bond
A covalent bond made by the sharing of two pairs of electrons.
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Double-blind trial
A drug trial in which neither the patient nor the doctor knows if the patient is receiving the new drug or a placebo.
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A chemical which causes changed in the body. Medical drugs cure diseases or relieve symptoms. Recreational drugs alter the state of your mind and/or body.
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Reflection of sound that can be heard.
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Effector organ
Muscle and gland that responds to impulses from the nervous system.
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Useful energy transferred by a device ÷ total energy supplied to the device.
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Elastic potential energy
Energy stored in an elastic object when work is done to change its shape.
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Electrical appliance
Machine powered by electricity.
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Electrical energy
Energy transferred by the movement of electrical charge.
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Electromagnetic spectrum
A set of radiations that have different wavelengths and frequencies but all travel at the same speed in a vacuum.
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Electromagnetic wave
Electric and magnetic disturbance that transfers energy from one place to another.
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The spectrum of electromagnetic waves in order of increasing wavelength
Gamma and X-rays, ultraviolet radiation, visible light, infrared radiation, microwaves, radio waves.
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A tiny particle with a negative charge. Electrons orbit the nucleus in atoms or ions.
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Electronic structure
A set of numbers to show the arrangement of electrons in their shells (or energy levels), for example, the electronic structure of a potassium atom is 2,8,8,1.
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A substance made up of only one type of atom. An element cannot be broken down chemically into any simpler substance.
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Give out radiation.
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A substance that gives out radiation.
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A substance which helps keep immiscible liquids (for example, oil and water) mixed so that they do not separate out into layers.
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A mixture of liquids that do not dissolve into each other.
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Energy level
See definition for Shell.
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Energy transfer
Movement of energy from one place to another or one form to another.
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Protein molecule that acts as a biological catalyst.
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When more cases of an infectious disease are recorded than would normally be expected.
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An alkene with the formula C2H4.
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Turning from liquid into vapour.
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The process of slow change in living organisms over long periods of time as those best adapted to survive breed successfully.
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Evolutionary relationship
Model of the relationships between organisms, often based on DNA evidence, which suggest how long ago the evolved away from each other and how closely related they are in evolutionary terms.
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Evolutionary tree
Model of the evolutionary relationships between different organisms based on their appearance, and increasingly, on DNA evidence.
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Organism which lives in environments that are very extreme, for example, very high or very low temperatures, high salt levels or high pressures.
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The reaction in which the enzymes in yeast turn glucose into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
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Easily ignited and capable of burning rapidly.
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A liquid or gas.
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Fossil fuel
Fuel obtained from long-dead biological material.
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Hydrocarbons with similar boiling points separated from crude oil.
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Fractional distillation
A way to separate liquids from a mixture of liquids by burning off the substances at different temperatures, then condensing and collecting the liquids.
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Free electron
Electron that moves about freely inside a metal and is not held inside an atom.
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The number of wave crests passing a fixed point every second.
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Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
A female hormone that stimulates the eggs to mature in the ovaries, and the ovaries to produce hormones, including oestrogen.
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Card 2


Special feature that makes an organism particularly well suited to the environment where it lives.



Card 3


Process in which the nucleus of an adult cell of one animal is fused with an empty egg from another animal. The embryo which results is placed inside the uterus of a third animal to develop.


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


The nutrient jelly on which many microorganisms are cultured.


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


Saturated hydrocarbon with the general formula CnH2n+2, for example methane, ethane and propane.


Preview of the back of card 5
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