Technical Term of Chemistry (Episode 1)


          Technical term is a word, phrase or sentence, which is performed at various specific fields to describe and communicate. In chemistry field e.g. analytical, organic, inorganic, physical, and biochemical chemistry, technical term has been widely applied with professional knowledge. It is useful to increase understanding with the short time. Therefore more usage of technical term of chemistry provides more information for learner, lecturer, worker, and scientist in chemistry.   



          Chemistry is a physical science, which focuses on the composition, structure, and properties of matter. Moreover it studies the chemical reactions under various conditions. Chemistry can be classified into five groups including analytical, organic, inorganic, biochemical and physical chemistry. In this article example and meaning of technical term of chemistry should be listed as following:

1)    Classifications of matter

Ø Matter = Anything that occupies space and has mass

Ø Substance = A form of matter that has a definite (constant) composition and distinct properties

Ø Mixture = A combination of two or more substances in which the substances retain their distinct identities

Ø Element = A substance that cannot be separated into simpler substances

2)    The three state of matter

Ø Solid = Molecules are held close together in an orderly fashion with little freedom of motion.

Ø Liquid = Molecules in liquid are close together but are not held so rigidly in position.

Ø Gas = Molecules are separated by distances that are large compared with the size of the molecules.

Ø Melting point = Upon heating, a solid will melt to form a liquid.

Ø Boiling point = Heating will convert the liquid into a gas.

Ø Freezing point = Liquid is cooled further, it will freeze into the solid form.

3)    Physical and chemical properties of matter

Ø Physical property = To measure and observe without changing the composition or identity of a substances

Ø Chemical property ¹ Physical property

Ø Extensive property = It depends on how much matter is being considered e.g. mass, length, volume.

Ø Intensive property = It does not depend on how much matter is being considered e.g. density.

4)    Measurement

Ø SI units = International System of Units

Ø Accuracy = How close a measurement is to the true value of the quantity that was measured.

Ø Precision = How closely two or more measurements of the same quantity agree with one another.

5)    The structure of the atom

Ø Atom = The basic unit of an element that can enter into chemical combination

Ø Electron = Negatively charged particles

Ø Proton = Positively charged particle in the nucleus

Ø Neutron = Electrically neutral  particles having a mass slightly greater than that of protons

Ø Nucleus = A dense central core within the atom


6)    Atomic number, Mass number, and Isotope

Ø Atomic number (Z) = The number of protons in the nucleus of each atom of an element

Ø Mass number (A) = The total number of neutrons and protons present in the nucleus of an atom of an element

Ø Isotope = Atoms that have the same atomic number but different mass number

7)    Molecule and Ion

Ø Molecule = An aggregate of at least two atoms in a definite arrangement held together by chemical forces

Ø Diatomic molecule = It contains only two atoms.

Ø Polyatomic molecule = To contain more than two atoms

Ø Ion = An atom or a group of atoms that has a net positive or negative charge

Ø Cation = An ion with a net positive charge

Ø Anion = An ion with a net negative charge

Ø Ionic compound = It is formed from cation and anion.

Ø Monatomic ions = They contain only one atom.

Ø Polyatomic ions = Ions contain more than one atom.

8)    Acid and Base

Ø Acid = A substance that yields hydrogen ions (H+) when dissolved in water.

Ø Base = A substance that yields hydroxide ions (OH-) when dissolved in water

9)    Atomic mass

Ø Atomic mass (Atomic weight) = The mass of the atom in atomic mass unit (amu)

Ø Atomic mass unit (amu) = A mass exactly equal to one-twelfth the mass of one carbon-12 atom

10)     Molar mass, molecular mass

Ø Mole (mol) = The amount of a substance that contains as many elementary entities (atoms, molecules, or other particle) as there are atoms in exactly 12 g of the C-12 isotope

Ø Molar mass = The mass (in grams or kilograms) of 1 mole of units of a substance

Ø Molecular mass (Molecular weight) = The sum of the atomic mass (in amu) in the molecule

11)     Chemical reaction

Ø Chemical reaction = A process in which a substance is changed into one or more new substances

Ø Chemical equation = It uses chemical symbols to show what happens during a chemical reaction.

Ø Reactant = The starting materials in a chemical reaction

Ø Product = The substance formed as a result of a chemical reaction

12)     Limiting reagent

Ø Limiting reagent = The reactant used up first in a reaction

Ø Excess reagent = The reactants present in quantities greater than necessary to react with the quantity of the limiting agent.

13)     Reaction yield

Ø Theoretical yield = The amount of product that would result if all the limiting reagent reacted.

Ø Actual yield = The amount of product actually obtained from a reaction. [It is almost always less than the theoretical yield.]

Ø Percent yield = The proportion of the actual yield to the theoretical yield

14)     Aqueous solution

Ø Solute = The substance present in a smaller amount.

Ø Solvent = The substance present in a larger amount.

Ø Aqueous solution = The solute initially is a liquid or a solid and the solvent is water.

Ø Electrolyte = A substance that when dissolved in water, results in a solution that can conduct electricity

Ø Nonelectrolyte = It does not conduct electricity when dissolved in water.

15)     Types of solution

Ø Saturated solution = It contains the maximum amount of a solute that will dissolve in a given solvent at a specific temperature.

Ø Unsaturated solution = It contains less solute than it has the capacity to dissolve.

Ø Supersaturated solution = It contains more solute than is present in a saturated solution.

16)     Precipitation reaction

Ø Precipitation reaction = The result is the formation of an insoluble product, or precipitate.

Ø Precipitate = An insoluble solid that separates from the solution

Ø Solubility = The maximum amount of solute that will dissolve in a given quantity of solvent at a specific temperature

17)     BrÆnsted acid and base

Ø BrÆnsted acid = A proton donor

Ø BrÆnsted base = A proton acceptor

Ø Hydronium ion = The hydrated proton, H3O+

Ø Monoprotic acid = Each unit of the acid yields one hydrogen ion upon ionization e.g. HCl, HNO3

Ø Diprotic acid = Each unit of the acid gives up two hydrogen ions e.g. H2SO4

Ø Triprotic acid = Yield three H+ ions e.g. H3PO4

18)     Lewis acid and base

Ø Lewis acid = A substance that can accept a pair of electrons

Ø Lewis base = A substance that can donate a pair of electrons

19)     Strength of acid and base

Ø Strong acid = Strong electrolyte that are assumed to ionize completely in water e.g. HCl, HNO3, HClO4, H2SO4

Ø Weak acid = It ionize only to a limited extent in water e.g. HF, CH3COOH

Ø Strong base = Strong electrolyte that ionize completely in water e.g. Ca(OH)2

Ø Weak base = Weak electrolyte e.g. NH3

20)     Buffer solution

Ø Buffer solution = A solution of (1) a weak acid or a weak base and (2) its salt both components must be present. The solution has the ability to resist changes in pH upon the addition of small amounts of either acid or base.

21)     Acid – Base neutralization

Ø Neutralization reaction = An reaction between an acid and a base

Ø Salt = An ionic compound made up of a cation other than H+ and an anion other than OH-.



          This academic article was described example and meaning of technical term of chemistry. It has been widely used to improve more knowledge with short time. Therefore technical term of chemistry and analytical chemistry is a significant material to concern.    



Chang, R. and Goldsby, K.A. (2014). Chemistry (Eleventh edition). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Hornby, A.S. (2010). Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (Eighth edition). New York: Oxford University Press.