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Questions tagged [terminology]

For questions regarding how something is referred to.

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Is the water in an aqueous solution undergoing a reaction considered part of the system or surroundings?

System: In chemistry, a system is a chemical reaction. A system operates within its surroundings. Energy can move between the two. Surroundings: The environment around a particular chemical reaction....
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Is the word “principle” still used in modern chemistry?

In modern chemistry, principles are the constituents of a substance, specifically those that produce a certain quality or effect in the substance, such as a bitter principle, which is any one of the ...
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Chemical Species vs Chemical Substances [duplicate]

Are chemical species the same as chemical substances? For example we can call water (H2O) a type of molecule (a chemical species) as well as a chemical substance. How do these two things differ?
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Sugar: A molecule or crystal [closed]

Is sugar a molecule or a large crystalline structure composed of many molecules? What do we mean when we say sugar?
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Why do we call O2 oxygen? [closed]

I have been taught that oxygen is a chemical element, in other words a certain type of atom that has 8 protons in its nucleus. So why is O2 called oxygen? It is not a type of atom but rather a ...
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4answers
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Is an isobar the same as an isotope?

I am a little bit confused about what an isobar is. Its online definition is that it's an element with the same number of neutrons but a different number of protons from an element $\ce{X}$. To me, ...
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How do you call the opposite of an ion?

According to IUPAC, an ion is defined as: An atomic or molecular particle having a net electric charge. (source) But how do you call an atomic or molecular particle that does not have a net ...
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Is there a single word antonym for dissociate? [closed]

Teaching ionic and covalent compounds, and one of the differences is that some ionic compounds will dissociate when dissolved but covalent compounds usually do not (salt water vs. sugar water, just ...
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How to quantify the adsorption affinity of gases?

Is there a term/quantity which shows how 'sticky/adsorptive' a molecule is? I am interested in gas adsorption on steel surfaces in our mass spectrometer and would like to estimate which gases have a ...
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1answer
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Can two atoms with the same amount of electrons but differing electronic configurations be considered isoelectronic?

Can two atoms with the same amount of electrons but differing electronic configurations be considered isoelectronic? For example, would we consider yttrium(I) $(\ce{Y+})$ with configuration: $\ce{[Kr]...
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492 views

What is “mechanistic duality”?

I am doing a general overview of different kinds of dualities present in science. I am quite well versed with the dualities in physics and mathematics. I was searching for dualities in chemistry, ...
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What makes Citrate or Citric Acid an acid?

As far as I know, an acid is something that gives off a proton or hydrogen ion $H^{+}$. But when I look at Citric Acid, There are three $COO^{-}$, which I think is a carboxyl group, that lacks $H^{+...
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Redox and acid-base reactions in planetary atmospheres

I'm a chemistry layperson looking for chemistry expertise regarding atmosphere composition. Earth's atmosphere is oxidizing, but it was somewhat reducing in the distant past before photosynthetic ...
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1answer
95 views

What is 'power law' kinetics?

I've come across a lot of instances where 'power law' description of the kinetics was mentioned, but I cannot think of any integrated rate law that follows something like: $$A(t)=bt^n+c$$ I'm pretty ...
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2answers
180 views

Understanding Equivalent Wyckoff positions

I'm somewhat confused by the concept of Wyckoff positions in crystal structures. From Quantum Chemistry of Solids by Robert Evarestov, the definition of a Wyckoff position is "all the crystallographic ...
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1answer
41 views

Amount concentration versus number concentration

The IUPAC Gold Book defines Amount concentration Amount of a constituent divided by the volume of the mixture. Also called amount-of-substance concentration, substance concentration (in ...
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197 views

What does “intensity of light” mean? [closed]

In this lecture from MIT, the professor defines the intensity of a wave as the square of the amplitude of the wave. But, at the same time, the professor defines the intensity of light as the number of ...
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1answer
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Terminology for describing nuclei participating in metallic bonds

I've read many times that in metals (for example sodium metal), what constitutes the crystal lattice is an arrange of atoms, since no electron is given or lost, they are just shared between all the ...
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314 views

Why is Rf called Retardation Factor?

I understand that $$R_\mathrm{f} = \frac{\text{distance traveled by center of analyte spot } (b)}{\text{ distance travelled by solvent front } (a)}$$ What I do not understand is why this is called ...
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Is there a blanket term for all variants (both nuclides and ions) of a chemical element?

I'm hoping to catalogue the various nuclides and oxidation states of an element but can't find a single term that describes them all, save for "chemical element variations". Is there a specific term ...
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3answers
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What is the difference between “adding a liquid” and “diluting to a liquid”?

Place $\pu{20.0 g}$ $\ce{NaOH(s)}$ in a flask and dilute to $\pu{1.00 L}$ with water. Place $\pu{20.0 g}$ $\ce{NaOH(s)}$ in a flask and add $\pu{1.00 L}$ of water. How exactly do these two ...
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Photodegradation vs photooxidation

I have been writing a paper about polymers being "aged" by light. Most of this aging happens because light hits atmospheric oxygen and either excites it to its singlet state or causes atmospheric ...
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1answer
208 views

Term for compound of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen

Is there a term for a compound of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen? There is hydrocarbon for a compound of carbon and hydrogen. There is also carbohydrate but that requires the ratio of hydrogen to ...
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What is “ölsaurem Alkali”

I read a technical German book that refers to "ölsaurem Alkali" which apparently means "oleic acid alkali". How could it be both an acid and an alkali?
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What is an alloy called when it melts at the same temperature as something else?

What is an alloy called when it melts at the same temperature as something else? For example, if there is an alloy that melts at the same temperature as glass then it will be susceptible to enameling ...
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36 views

Meaning of Molecular Oxygen

Does molecular oxygen just mean the oxygen molecule? Or could it refer to a certain state of the molecule (eg. gas or aqueous)?
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What is the difference between an 'elementary reaction' and a 'concerted reaction'?

In the IUPAC Gold Book: elementary reactionA reaction for which no reaction intermediates have been detected or need to be postulated in order to describe the chemical reaction ...
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What does “the magnesium salt of EDTA” mean?

I am attempting to prepare an ammonium chloride/ammonium hydroxide buffer solution ($\ce{pH}=10 \pm 0.1$) for titrating water hardness with calgamite and EDTA. In the 17th Edition of the Standard ...
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1answer
105 views

Why isn't ionization energy called cationization energy? [closed]

I'm learning chemistry and ionization energy is "[...] the amount of energy required to remove the most loosely bound electron, the valence electron, of an isolated gaseous atom to form a cation." It ...
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1answer
47 views

Neutral anions in salts and strong acids are similar - is it a coincidence? [closed]

Recently I was studying salts and my professor provided a list of anions which are considered neutral in salts (that is, they do not change the $\mathrm{pH}$ of an aqueous solution when added as a ...
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175 views

Is there a terminology contradiction about whether the conjugate of a strong acid is a “weak base”?

(Please note, I am not simply asking, "Is the conjugate of a strong acid a weak base?" I'm asking about the contradictory ways those terms seem to be used.) I was revisiting strong/weak acids/bases ...
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1answer
39 views

What are good naming conventions for chemical properties? [closed]

I've noticed (as I'm not a chemist) that some terminology in chemistry seems very confusing to me compared to how I'm used to view symbols and relations in mathematics. For example, today I was ...
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2answers
802 views

How to calculate the molarity of a gas?

If I have $X$ moles of a gas and I put them in a container at constant volume $V$, will the molarity of the gas then be $X/V$?
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What does “sine” mean?

I see the suffix "sine" (seen/sin) a lot, adenosine, cytosine, lysine, tyrosine, etc. Most of where I hear it is in amino acid R groups, but it's usually only the prefix that is recognized as ...
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How do we indicate a volume fraction like 0.05 in procedure descriptions?

I'm translating a Russian biotech text, and there's this sentence with a number without measurement units: The contents of the wells were discarded; the wells were washed three times with 200 µL of ...
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What exactly is an “electron-sponge”?

What exactly an "electron-sponge" [behavior/action/property/system] nickname is, and what makes a material an "electron-sponge" (preferably, quantitatively)? From what I found, it's typically a ...
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238 views

What is the difference between precipitate and deposit?

In a book, I read that copper is the deposit from the copper sulphate – zinc reaction. In the same book, there was a definition of precipitate: Precipitate is a solid substance that deposits from ...
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1answer
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What does “to the left” mean?

However, the concentration of hydronium and hydroxide ions will be very, very small; in fact, the equilibrium that's established in solution lies so far to the left, that only 18 in 1010 molecules of ...
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2answers
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Why do most drugs (eg: oxycodone) have seemingly arbitrary names?

How do some medicines derive their names? For instance, is the name oxycodone somewhat arbitrary? I am not well-versed in Chemistry (1st semester student) but does the prefix oxy- imply some ...
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What are the following equations called?

Our teacher was writing out the following ways of expressing redox and she used a particular term for what these equations are called. When we write out the following what is this called? Its a way to ...
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What kind of chemical used in a chromatography run could be denoted with the letters D.H.?

A fellow translator is having trouble translating (into Russian) the mysterious D.H. abbreviation in the following passage: Slight variations of the ratio of the mobile phase constituents or ...
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2answers
485 views

Does Brønsted-Lowry theory apply to neutralization reactions?

Does the Brønsted-Lowry theory apply to neutralization reactions such as: $$\ce{HCl + NaOH -> H2O + NaCl}$$ and would there be a conjugate acid/base?
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How to tell 'orthokinetic' apart from 'perikinetic' based on their prefixes?

During a test in colloid and surface chemistry, students were asked to distinguish between two terms: orthokinetic and perikinetic coagulation. The rate of aggregation is in general determined by ...
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Is it a “Bary center” or a “Bari center”?

(Studying Coordination Chemistry, "Crystal Field Theory" at school) Apparently, different sources spell this differently. The Wikipedia article on Crystal Field Stabilization Energy, calls it the "...
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2answers
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Etymology of saturation degrees (-ane, -ene, -yne) in aliphatic compounds

I like to know where the names for saturated, unsaturated double, and unsaturated triple bonded aliphatic compounds came from. What is the reason/etymology behind the suffix -ane, -ene, and -yne? I ...
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1answer
74 views

Is lanthanum a lanthanoid? [duplicate]

Is lanthanum classified as lanthanoids? If yes, then can somebody explain in detail why La has 6s2 5d1 as its electron configuration and Ce has 6s2 4f1 5d1?
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2answers
71 views

Atomic mass number and mass number in atomic symbol

In chemistry classes or even many different branches of chemistry textbooks, I am told that the atomic symbol $$\Large ^A_Z\ce{X}$$ includes the following notations: $A$ – "atomic mass" or "mass ...
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1answer
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Is this definition of the verb oxidize correct? [closed]

UPDATED VERSION: There are a dozen definitions of the verb oxidize in various dictionaries. My question is whether the definition in the end of this post holds true. I have added the words in bold. ...
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722 views

What is the relation between ionization energy and electropositivity?

Electropositivity of an element is defined as a measure of element's ability to donate electrons while Ionization energy or Ionization potential is defined as the energy required to dispel a loosely ...
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Amount of substance expressed in yoctomole units

I stumbled upon a couple of papers where amounts were expressed in yoctomoles ([ymol], $\pu{10^{-24} mol}$) and I find it somewhat bothersome as 1 ymol would correspond to about 60% of atom/molecule/...