Science, Grades 9-12 141 words

Vocabulary list related to science and technology for students in grades 9-12.
  1. accelerator
    a pedal that controls the throttle valve
  2. advection
    (meteorology) the horizontal transfer of heat or other atmospheric properties
  3. Albert Einstein
    physicist born in Germany who formulated the special theory of relativity and the general theory of relativity; Einstein also proposed that light consists of discrete quantized bundles of energy (later called photons) (1879-1955)
  4. Antoine Lavoisier
    French chemist known as the father of modern chemistry; discovered oxygen and disproved the theory of phlogiston (1743-1794)
  5. artifact
    a man-made object taken as a whole
  6. atomic bomb
    a nuclear weapon in which enormous energy is released by nuclear fission (splitting the nuclei of a heavy element like uranium 235 or plutonium 239)
  7. atomic energy
    the energy released by a nuclear reaction
  8. atomic mass
    (chemistry) the mass of an atom of a chemical element expressed in atomic mass units
  9. atomic number
    the order of an element in Mendeleyev's table of the elements; equal to the number of protons in the nucleus or electrons in the neutral state of an atom of an element
  10. atomic theory
    a theory of the structure of the atom
  11. atomic weight
    (chemistry) the mass of an atom of a chemical element expressed in atomic mass units
  12. big bang theory
    (cosmology) the theory that the universe originated sometime between 10 billion and 20 billion years ago from the cataclysmic explosion of a small volume of matter at extremely high density and temperature
  13. binary
    of or pertaining to a number system have 2 as its base
  14. biotechnology
    the branch of molecular biology that studies the use of microorganisms to perform specific industrial processes
  15. bit
    a small piece or quantity of something
  16. buoyancy
    the tendency to float in water or other liquid
  17. byte
    a sequence of 8 bits (enough to represent one character of alphanumeric data) processed as a single unit of information
  18. carbon
    an abundant nonmetallic tetravalent element occurring in three allotropic forms: amorphous carbon and graphite and diamond; occurs in all organic compounds
  19. carbon atom
    an atom of carbon
  20. carbon cycle
    the organic circulation of carbon from the atmosphere into organisms and back again
  21. carbon dioxide
    a heavy odorless colorless gas formed during respiration and by the decomposition of organic substances; absorbed from the air by plants in photosynthesis
  22. catalyst
    (chemistry) a substance that initiates or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected
  23. cell membrane
    a thin membrane (a double layer of lipids) enclosing the cytoplasm of a cell; proteins in the membrane control passage of ions (like sodium or potassium or calcium) in and out of the cell
  24. cell nucleus
    a part of the cell containing DNA and RNA and responsible for growth and reproduction
  25. cell organelle
    a specialized part of a cell; analogous to an organ
  26. cell wall
    a rigid layer of polysaccharides enclosing the membrane of plant and prokaryotic cells; maintains the shape of the cell and serves as a protective barrier
  27. Charles Darwin
    English natural scientist who formulated a theory of evolution by natural selection (1809-1882)
  28. chat room
    a site on the internet where a number of users can communicate in real time (typically one dedicated to a particular topic)
  29. chemical bond
    an electrical force linking atoms
  30. chip
    a small fragment of something broken off from the whole
  31. chloroplast
    plastid containing chlorophyll and other pigments; in plants that carry out photosynthesis
  32. chromatography
    a process used for separating mixtures by virtue of differences in absorbency
  33. chromosome
    a threadlike strand of DNA in the cell nucleus that carries the genes in a linear order
  34. closed-loop system
    a control system with a feedback loop that is active
  35. convection
    the transfer of heat through a fluid (liquid or gas) caused by molecular motion
  36. Copernicus
    Polish astronomer who produced a workable model of the solar system with the sun in the center (1473-1543)
  37. CPU
    (computer science) the part of a computer (a microprocessor chip) that does most of the data processing
  38. cytoplasm
    the protoplasm of a cell excluding the nucleus; is full of proteins that control cell metabolism
  39. debug
    locate and correct errors in a computer program code
  40. DNA
    (biochemistry) a long linear polymer found in the nucleus of a cell and formed from nucleotides and shaped like a double helix; associated with the transmission of genetic information
  41. Doppler effect
    change in the apparent frequency of a wave as observer and source move toward or away from each other
  42. drag
    pull, as against a resistance
  43. elasticity
    the tendency of a body to return to its original shape after it has been stretched or compressed
  44. electric motor
    a motor that converts electricity to mechanical work
  45. electric potential
    the difference in electrical charge between two points in a circuit expressed in volts
  46. electromagnetic radiation
    radiation consisting of waves of energy associated with electric and magnetic fields resulting from the acceleration of an electric charge
  47. electromagnetic spectrum
    the entire frequency range of electromagnetic waves
  48. electromagnetic wave
    radiation consisting of waves of energy associated with electric and magnetic fields resulting from the acceleration of an electric charge
  49. electron
    an elementary particle with negative charge
  50. elementary particle
    (physics) a particle that is less complex than an atom; regarded as constituents of all matter
  51. endothermic reaction
    a chemical reaction accompanied by the absorption of heat
  52. Enrico Fermi
    Italian nuclear physicist (in the United States after 1939) who worked on artificial radioactivity caused by neutron bombardment and who headed the group that in 1942 produced the first controlled nuclear reaction (1901-1954)
  53. entropy
    (communication theory) a numerical measure of the uncertainty of an outcome
  54. enzyme
    any of several complex proteins that are produced by cells and act as catalysts in specific biochemical reactions
  55. Ernest Rutherford
    British physicist (born in New Zealand) who discovered the atomic nucleus and proposed a nuclear model of the atom (1871-1937)
  56. exothermic reaction
    a chemical reaction accompanied by the evolution of heat
  57. experimental method
    the use of controlled observations and measurements to test hypotheses
  58. external storage
    a data storage device that is not the main memory of a computer
  59. Fahrenheit
    of or relating to a temperature scale proposed by the inventor of the mercury thermometer
  60. field
    extensive tract of level open land
  61. frame
    the internal supporting structure that gives an artifact its shape
  62. gamma ray
    electromagnetic radiation emitted during radioactive decay and having an extremely short wavelength
  63. gene expression
    conversion of the information encoded in a gene first into messenger RNA and then to a protein
  64. general theory of relativity
    a generalization of special relativity to include gravity (based on the principle of equivalence)
  65. genetic mutation
    (genetics) any event that changes genetic structure; any alteration in the inherited nucleic acid sequence of the genotype of an organism
  66. geologic time
    the time of the physical formation and development of the earth (especially prior to human history)
  67. geological dating
    use of chemical analysis to estimate the age of geological specimens
  68. germ theory
    (medicine) the theory that all contagious diseases are caused by microorganisms
  69. gigabyte
    a unit of information equal to 1000 megabytes or 10^9 (1,000,000,000) bytes
  70. Golgi apparatus
    a netlike structure in the cytoplasm of animal cells (especially in those cells that produce secretions)
  71. greenhouse gas
    a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation
  72. Gregor Mendel
    Augustinian monk and botanist whose experiments in breeding garden peas led to his eventual recognition as founder of the science of genetics (1822-1884)
  73. HTML
    a set of tags and rules (conforming to SGML) for using them in developing hypertext documents
  74. hydrogen bomb
    a nuclear weapon that releases atomic energy by union of light (hydrogen) nuclei at high temperatures to form helium
  75. hydrogen ion
    a positively charged atom of hydrogen; that is to say, a normal hydrogen atomic nucleus
  76. initialize
    assign an initial value to a computer program
  77. ion
    a particle that is electrically charged (positive or negative); an atom or molecule or group that has lost or gained one or more electrons
  78. isotope
    one of two or more atoms with the same atomic number but with different numbers of neutrons
  79. Johannes Kepler
    German astronomer who first stated laws of planetary motion (1571-1630)
  80. John Dalton
    English chemist and physicist who formulated atomic theory and the law of partial pressures; gave the first description of red-green color blindness (1766-1844)
  81. Kelvin
    British physicist who invented the Kelvin scale of temperature and pioneered undersea telegraphy (1824-1907)
  82. kilobyte
    a unit of information equal to 1000 bytes
  83. Lise Meitner
    Swedish physicist (born in Austria) who worked in the field of radiochemistry with Otto Hahn and formulated the concept of nuclear fission with Otto Frisch (1878-1968)
  84. macro
    very large in scale or scope or capability
  85. magnetic field
    the lines of force surrounding a permanent magnet or a moving charged particle
  86. megabyte
    a unit of information equal to 1000 kilobytes or 10^6 (1,000,000) bytes
  87. meiosis
    (genetics) cell division that produces reproductive cells in sexually reproducing organisms; the nucleus divides into four nuclei each containing half the chromosome number (leading to gametes in animals and spores in plants)
  88. microprocessor
    integrated circuit semiconductor chip that performs the bulk of the processing and controls the parts of a system
  89. microwave
    kitchen appliance that cooks food by passing an electromagnetic wave through it; heat results from the absorption of energy by the water molecules in the food
  90. mitochondrion
    an organelle containing enzymes responsible for producing energy
  91. mitosis
    cell division in which the nucleus divides into nuclei containing the same number of chromosomes
  92. mole
    a small congenital pigmented spot on the skin
  93. natural object
    an object occurring naturally; not made by man
  94. natural selection
    a natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment
  95. neuron
    a cell that is specialized to conduct nerve impulses
  96. neurotransmitter
    a neurochemical that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse
  97. neutron
    an elementary particle with 0 charge and mass about equal to a proton; enters into the structure of the atomic nucleus
  98. Newtonian mechanics
    the branch of mechanics based on Newton's laws of motion
  99. nitrogen
    a common nonmetallic element that is normally a colorless odorless tasteless inert diatomic gas; constitutes 78 percent of the atmosphere by volume; a constituent of all living tissues
  100. nitrogen cycle
    the circulation of nitrogen; nitrates from the soil are absorbed by plants which are eaten by animals that die and decay returning the nitrogen back to the soil
  101. nuclear fission
    a nuclear reaction in which a massive nucleus splits into smaller nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy
  102. nuclear fusion
    a nuclear reaction in which nuclei combine to form more massive nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy
  103. ohm
    a unit of electrical resistance equal to the resistance between two points on a conductor when a potential difference of one volt between them produces a current of one ampere
  104. operating system
    (computer science) software that controls the execution of computer programs and may provide various services
  105. ozone
    a colorless gas (O3) soluble in alkalis and cold water; a strong oxidizing agent; can be produced by electric discharge in oxygen or by the action of ultraviolet radiation on oxygen in the stratosphere (where it acts as a screen for ultraviolet radiation)
  106. patent
    a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention
  107. peripheral device
    (computer science) electronic equipment connected by cable to the CPU of a computer
  108. person-to-person
    involving direct communication or contact between persons or parties
  109. pixel
    (computer science) the smallest discrete component of an image or picture on a CRT screen (usually a colored dot)
  110. plate tectonics
    the branch of geology studying the folding and faulting of the earth's crust
  111. potential energy
    the mechanical energy that a body has by virtue of its position; stored energy
  112. pressure
    the act of pressing; the exertion of pressure
  113. protein
    any of a large group of nitrogenous organic compounds that are essential constituents of living cells; consist of polymers of amino acids; essential in the diet of animals for growth and for repair of tissues; can be obtained from meat and eggs and milk and legumes
  114. proton
    a stable particle with positive charge equal to the negative charge of an electron
  115. Ptolemy
    Alexandrian astronomer (of the 2nd century) who proposed a geocentric system of astronomy that was undisputed until the late Renaissance
  116. radio wave
    an electromagnetic wave with a wavelength between 0.5 cm to 30,000 m
  117. radioactive dating
    measurement of the amount of radioactive material (usually carbon 14) that an object contains; can be used to estimate the age of the object
  118. radioactive decay
    the spontaneous disintegration of a radioactive substance along with the emission of ionizing radiation
  119. RAM
    the most common computer memory which can be used by programs to perform necessary tasks while the computer is on; an integrated circuit memory chip allows information to be stored or accessed in any order and all storage locations are equally accessible
  120. redundancy
    the attribute of being superfluous and unneeded
  121. scanner
    someone who scans verse to determine the number and prosodic value of the syllables
  122. segregation
    the act of segregating or sequestering
  123. semiconductor
    a substance as germanium or silicon whose electrical conductivity is intermediate between that of a metal and an insulator; its conductivity increases with temperature and in the presence of impurities
  124. sex cell
    a spermatozoon or an ovum; a cell responsible for transmitting DNA to the next generation
  125. simulation
    the act of imitating the behavior of some situation or some process by means of something suitably analogous (especially for the purpose of study or personnel training)
  126. sound wave
    (acoustics) a wave that transmits sound
  127. space probe
    a rocket-propelled guided missile that can escape the earth's atmosphere; makes observations of the solar system that cannot be made by terrestrial observation
  128. spam
    unwanted e-mail (usually of a commercial nature sent out in bulk)
  129. special theory of relativity
    a physical theory of relativity based on the assumption that the speed of light in a vacuum is a constant and the assumption that the laws of physics are invariant in all inertial systems
  130. speciation
    the evolution of a biological species
  131. speed of light
    the speed at which light travels in a vacuum; the constancy and universality of the speed of light is recognized by defining it to be exactly 299,792,458 meters per second
  132. streaming
    the circulation of cytoplasm within a cell
  133. subsystem
    a system that is part of some larger system
  134. template
    a model or standard for making comparisons
  135. thermal equilibrium
    a state in which all parts of a system are at the same temperature
  136. torque
    a twisting force
  137. transmitter
    any agent (person or animal or microorganism) that carries and transmits a disease
  138. ultraviolet radiation
    radiation lying in the ultraviolet range; wave lengths shorter than light but longer than X rays
  139. vacuole
    a tiny cavity filled with fluid in the cytoplasm of a cell
  140. viscosity
    resistance of a liquid to shear forces (and hence to flow)
  141. x-ray
    take an x-ray of something or somebody