Dr. Overy's KBase: Resources for Teaching and Learning
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Glossary

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  • Absolute Zero
    The theoretical lowest possible temperature. It is the theoretical temperature at which entropy reaches its minimum value.
  • Acceleration
    The rate at which the velocity of a body changes with time
  • Accuracy
    A measurement result is considered accurate if it is judged to be close to the true
    value
  • Acid Rain
    Commonly used to mean the deposition of acidic components in rain, snow, fog, dew, or dry particles. The more accurate term is acid precipitation. Clean or unpolluted rain has a slightly acidic pH of 5.6, the extra acidity in rain comes from the reaction of air pollutants, primarily Sulphur dioxide and Nitrogen oxides, with water in the air to form strong acids (like sulphuric and nitric acid). The main sources of these pollutants are vehicles and industrial and power-generating plants.
  • Air Pollution
    The release of chemicals and particulates into the atmosphere. Common gaseous pollutants include carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and nitrogen oxides produced by industry and motor vehicles. Photochemical ozone and smog are created as nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons react to sunlight. Particulate matter, or fine dust is characterized by their micrometre size PM10 to PM2.5.  

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollution#Forms_of_pollution
  • Air Quality
    A measurement of the pollutants in the air
  • Alga
    Unicellular or multicellular organisms formerly classified as plants, occurring in fresh or salt water or moist ground, that have chlorophyll and other pigments but lack true stems, roots, and leaves
  • Angular Velocity
    The rate of change of angular displacement with respect to time.
  • Anomalies
    These are values in a set of results which are judged not to be part of the variation caused by random uncertainty
  • Antibiotics
    A medicine  that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms.
  • Antibodies
    Specialized cells of the immune system which can recognize organisms that invade the body (such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi). 
  • Antibody
    A blood protein produced in response to and counteracting a specific antigen. Antibodies combine chemically with substances which the body recognizes as alien, such as bacteria, viruses, and foreign substances in the blood
  • AQA
    An awarding body in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It compiles specifications and holds examinations in various subjects at GCSE, AS and A Level and offers vocational qualifications
  • ASE
    The ASE (Association for Science Education) is a community of teachers, technicians, and other professionals supporting science education and is the largest subject association in the UK
  • Bacteria
    Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) organisms or as parasites (dependent on another organism for life). The plural of bacterium.
  • Biodegradable
    Materials that will decompose into naturally occurring, harmless components with exposure to air, sunlight and/or moisture.
  • Biodiversity
    The variety of life in all its forms, levels and combinations. This phrase acts as generic terminology for Eco-system diversity, species diversity, and genetic diversity.
  • Biofuel
    A fuel produced from dry organic matter or combustible oils produced by plants. Examples of biofuel include alcohol, bio diesel from vegetable oil and wood.
  • Biomass
    The total mass of all living organisms within a biological community. Biomass usually refers to plant matter grown for use as Biofuel, but also includes plant or animal matter used for production of fibres, chemicals or heat. Biomass may also include Biodegradable wastes that can be burnt as fuel.
  • Biosphere
    The part of the earth and its atmosphere in which living organisms exist or that is capable of supporting life
  • Black hole
    A region of space-time where gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping
  • Blackwater
    Water from toilets, kitchen sink, or other dirty sources, which could be contaminated with microorganisms or harmful bacteria.
  • Calibration
    Marking a scale on a measuring instrument. This involves establishing the relationship between indications of a measuring
    instrument and standard or reference quantity values, which must be applied.

    For example, placing a thermometer in melting ice to see whether it reads zero, in
    order to check if it has been calibrated correctly.
  • Calorie
    A unit of energy (heat)
  • Carbon Cycle
    The cycle by which carbon is exchanged between the Biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere of the Earth.
    Major activities include photosynthesis, respiration and decay between atmospheric and terrestrial systems.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
    The greenhouse gas whose concentration is being most affected directly by human activities. The major source of emissions is fossil fuel combustion.
  • Carbon Footprint
    A measure of the effect that human activities have on the climate in terms of the total amount of Greenhouse gases produced
  • Carbon Tax
    A tax on energy sources which emit Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is an example of a pollution tax.
  • Categoric Variables
    Categoric variables have values that are labels. Eg names of insects or types of material.
  • Causal Link
    A change in one variable that results from or is caused by a change in another variable

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