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Word A Day

Subatomic: smaller
than an atom.

Molecule: A group of
atoms bound together
in a definite
arrangement to make a

Atom: the smallest

component of an
element having the
chemical properties of
the element.
Combustion: a
process in which a
substance reacts with
oxygen to give heat,
CO2 and H2O

Charles’s Law: The

volume of a gas at
constant pressure
varies directly with the

Boyle’s Law:
the pressure of a gas
at constant
temperature varies
inversely with the
Direct Relationship:
a mathematical
relationship between
two variables in which
change in one variable
is associated with a
change in the other
variable in the same

Inverse Relationship:
a mathematical
relationship in which
one variable decreases
as another increases.

Pressure: (symbol: 'p')

is the force per unit
area applied to an
object in a direction
perpendicular to the

Effusion: flow under

pressure, an outpouring
of liquid, (of speech or
Barometer: an
instrument that
measures atmospheric

Volatile: explosive: liable to

lead to sudden change

Scientific Theory:
Inferred explanation for why
observable phenomena
happen. (Explains why
Things happen)

Scientific Law:
Statements or descriptions of
how observable phenomenon
happen. It does not state why
they happen, it does state
that they do happen.
Period: subdivision of
geologic time that divides an
Era into smaller units.
Example: The Mesozoic can
be broken into three periods:
Triassic, Jurassic and

Era: subdivision of geologic

time that divides an Eon into
smaller units. 3 major eras:
Paleozoic, Mesozoic and

Criteria of Living
Living things are:
• made of cells.
• obtain and use energy.
• grow and develop.
• reproduce.
• respond to their environment.
• adapt to their environment.

Eon: T he la r gest f or mal

unit of geologic t ime.
T her e ar e f our eons: the
Hadean, Ar chean,
Pr oter o zoic, and
Phaner o zoic.

Chordate: animals
that have a
supporting rod
(vertebrae) that
runs most of the
length of the body
for at least part of
their lives.
Cenozoic: means “recent life.”
This era began 65 mya and
continues to the present. This is
the age of mammals.

Mesozoic: means “middle life.”

This era lasted from about 250
mya until about 65 mya. This
era is known as the age of

Paleozoic: means “old life.”

This era lasted from about 540
to 250 mya. It is the first era
that is well represented by
Precambrian: The
time period that
encompasses all time
from the Earth's
formation, 4.6 billion
years ago to start of
the Paleozic 550 million
years ago.

mya: “million years ago.”


Epicenter: the point on the

Earth's surface directly above
the focus of an earthquake
Hypocenter: The point in the
earth where an earthquake
originates; also known as the
Richter Scale: The
scale used by scientists
to measure the
intensity of an
earthquake. It was
created by Charles F.
Richter in 1935.

Mercalli Scale - a
subjective measure of
the strength of an
earthquake. It
measures the degree of
Magnitude - the amount
of energy released from
the earthquake.

Theory of Plate Tectonics: The

scientific theory that the earth's
lithosphere is divided into plates (or
semi-rigid sections) which move
horizontally and interact with one
another, causing the formation of
mountains, folds, faults, volcanoes,
earthquakes, ocean trenches, and
the mid-oceanic ridges.
Pangaea: (Greek for
"all lands")The name
given to the single land
mass, that occurred
250 mya (million years
ago), when all the
earth's continental
tectonic plates where
very close to each

Alfred Wegner: the scientist

who first proposed the idea of
continental drift, which
became know as the theory of
plate tectonics
Asthenosphere: the weak, 
plastic like layer of Earth's 
interior, just below the 
lithosphere, over which the 
surface plates slide.

Transform Boundary: a
boundary between plates that
are sliding past each other.

Divergent Boundary:
Tectonic plate boundaries
at which the plates move
Convergent Boundary:
A boundary between
plates that are moving
toward each other, or
Heliocentric: Theory
proposed by Polish
astronomer Nicolaus
Copernicus in which the
sun is the central body in
our solar system.
Geocentric: Theory of
the solar system proposed
by Ptolemy in which the
earth is the center of the

Primary Resource: A primary source is a

document, speech, or other sort of evidence
written, created or otherwise produced
during the time under study. Examples:
Original Documents, articfacts, interviews,
diaries, photographs etc.

Secondary Res ource: Sources that

provide interpretation and analysis of
primary sources. Secondary sources are one
step removed from the original event or
"horse's mouth." Examples are encyclopedia,
newspaper commentaries, textbooks.
Asthenia: abnormal
physical weakness,
lack of energy.

Foliated: Having strong mineral

orientation and/or mineral
banding or layering.
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Speleology:(spee lee AH lo
gee) the scientific study of
caves; from the Greek
word for cave, spelaion
Stalactite: An icicle-like
mineral formation that
hangs from the ceiling of a
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Stalagmite: A cone-
shaped mineral deposit
that forms on the floor of
a cave. QuickTimeª and a decompressor
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Metamorphic: any rock

derived from pre-existing rocks
by extreme heat and pressure,
but does not result in a melt of
the rock.

Diatom: a photosynthetic
single celled organism
enclosed by a shell of
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Sediment: Solid
material that was in
suspension and
transported by air, water
or ice and has come to
rest on the earth’s

Frost Wedging:
Weathering of rocks by
the expansion of water as
it freezes in fractures and
pore spaces.

Lithify: To turn to rock.

Sedimentary: Rocks
which form at the earth's
surface, made up of
either particles of pre-
existing rock or chemical
precipitates (minerals
solidified from a dissolved

Anthracite: Hard, dense,

energy rich coal. Cleaner
and hotter than
bituminous coal.
Generally the only coal
used for home heating.

Coal: a sedimentary rock

formed from the fossilized
remains of plant material.

Analogy: A comparison
between two things, for
the purpose of

Intrusive or Plutonic: a
kind of igneous rocks that
crystallized underground.
Because of the slow rate of
cooling, the crystals are
typically very large.

Extrusive or Volcanic: an
igneous rock formed when
magma cools and hardens
above Earth's surface.
Because of the rapid rate of
cooling, extrusive rocks
have tiny crystals, or if
cooled very rapidly, have no
crystals at all.

Igneous: rocks which

formed by the cooling and
solidification (crystallization)
of molten rock which
originated from below the
earth's surface.
Lava: Molten (liquid) rock found on
the earth’s surface.

Magma: Molten rock below the Earth's

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Rock: Any solid mass

of mineral matter that
occurs naturally as part
of our planet.

Geode: a hollow rock

with the cavity
usually lined with
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Something that
was never “alive”
and never will be.
Kilo: (symbol: k) is
the SI prefix
denoting a factor of
103 (1000)
Saturate: to fill to the point
no more will fit.

Supersaturated: a solution
that holds more solute than it
normally can at normal
temperatures; heated to get
more solute to dissolve

Question: Why did so many

groups heat their solutions
when making evaporate

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Hot Plate:

Cleavage: The
breaking of a mineral
along crystallographic
planes, that reflects a
crystal structure.

Conchoidal fracture:
A fracture that
produces a smooth,
curved surface. (glass
breaks like this.)

Amorphous: The term

applied to rocks and
minerals having no
definite crystalline
structure, having no
specific orientation of
Mohs Hardness
Scale: A scale that
ranks the mineral
hardness based on
relatively from 1-10. 1
is the softest mineral
(Talc) and 10 is the
hardest mineral

Hardness: Property of
a mineral's resistance
to being scratched.
Streak: The color of a
mineral in the
powdered form.

Refraction: The change

in direction of a wave
because of a change in the
medium it is traveling

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Opaque: impervious to
light, cannot be seen through.

Algorithm: A formal set

of instructions that can
be followed to perform
a specific task, such as
a mathematical
formula or a set of
instructions in a
computer program.

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= test tube

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= alcohol

Mineral: anything that has

all of these properties
3)Naturally occurring
4)Crystalline Structure
5) Definite Chemical
Vitreous: Glassy, or
glasslike. having
extremely low or no

Geology: the science

that deals with rocks
and the physical
history of the earth.

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= Petri dish
Draw a picture of this
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= pipette.
Draw a picture in

Surface tension:
A measurement of how
much the molecules on
a liquid tend to like to
stick to each other. If
something has a high
surface tension, it likes
to bead up.

Surfactant: A material
that decreases the
surface tension of the
solution in which it is

Quantitative data:
Data that can be
counted or measured in
discrete units

Qualitative data:
Information that is
difficult to measure,
count, or express in
numerical terms. Data
that is rich in detail and
description, usually in a
textual or narrative

Logic: A method of
human thought that
involves thinking in a
linear, step-by-step
manner about how a
problem can be solved.

Conjecture: an
unproven guess that is
based on observations.

Supernatural: not
existing in nature or
subject to explanation
according to natural

Postulate: (logic) a
proposition that is
accepted as true in order
to provide a basis for
logical reasoning.