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Chemical Reactions Glossary

Acidic: corrosive and sour tasting like lemon juice. An acid is a compound which produces hydrogen ions (protons) when dissolved in water.

Activation energy: the additional energy which must be supplied for a reaction to occur.

Chemical bonds: are the links that hold atoms or ions together in molecules or crystals. A chemical bond involves the sharing or transfer of electrons.

Chemical energy: is the energy set free in a chemical reaction. It is a form of potential energy and results from the making and breaking of chemical bonds.

Combustion: is a chemical reaction between a fuel and an oxidising agent that produces heat and usually light.

Dissolve: to break into parts, to form a solution.

Matter: is anything that takes up space or has a mass of any kind. We are matter and so is the air we breathe.

Oxidise: to lose electrons or gain oxygen.

Precipitation reaction: a chemical reaction in which a dissolved substance is converted into an insoluble form.

Reduce: to gain electrons.

Solutions: are mixtures with no definite composition. Usually they are mixtures of a solid and a liquid, for example sea water.

Stalagmite, stalagtite and column: Stalagtites are a build up of limestone hanging from the ceiling of a cave. Stalagmites project from the floor and columns occur when stalactites and stalgmites join also limestone.

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