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Chapter 3 Key Terms Practice

nucleusthe tiny central core of an atom: contains protons and neutrons
protonsmall positively-charged particle in the nucleus of an atom
neutronsmall uncharged particle in the nucleus of an atom
electrontiny negatively-charged high-energy particle that moves in the space outside the nucleus of an atom
atomic numberthe number of protons in an atom; identifies the element
atomic mass unitthe unit for the mass of particles in atoms
valence electronthe electrons that are farthest from the nucleus and are involved in chemical reactions
electron dot diagramsdots placed around the element symbol represent the valence electrons
mass numberthe sum of the protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom
isotopean atom with the same number of protons but with a different number of neutrons
atomic massthe average mass of the atoms of an element
periodic tablean arrangement of the elements in order of atomic number in which elements with similar properties are grouped in columns
groupelements in the same vertical columns; also called families; have similar properties
familyelements in the same vertical column; also called groups
perioda horizontal row of elements in the periodic table
malleablea material that can be pounded into shape
ductilea material that can be pulled into a long wire
conductora substance through which electrons move freely transmitting heat or electricity
magneticcharacteristic of metals that are attracted to magnets and can be made into magnets
corrosionthe gradual wearing away of a metal due to chemical reaction
alkali metalan element in Group 1; highly reactive
alkaline earth metalan element in Group 2; very reactive
transition metalan element in Groups 3 - 12
lanthanidea group of elements in the first row of the rare earth elements
actinidea group of elements in the second row of the rare earth elements
nonmetalan element that lacks most of the properties of metals
diatomic moleculea molecule composed of two identical atoms
halogen familyelements in Group 17; highly reactive
noble gasan element in Group 18; unreactive
metalloidan element with some of the characteristics of metals and some characteristics of nonmetals
semiconductorcan conduct electricity under some conditions
plasmaa state of matter in which atoms are stripped of their electrons and the nuclei are packed closely together
nuclear fusionthe process in which smaller nuclei combine into larger nuclei releasing much energy
supernovaan explosion that breaks apart a massive star

Physical science teacher
E.B. Stanley Middle School
Abingdon, VA

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