Chemistry Notes

Table 1.7 Roots, prefixes and suffixes in chemistry - From the Sourcebook for Teaching Science

a, an not, without - amorphous, anhydrous, anaerobic, atypical

Amorphous carbon does not display crystalline structure.

acid, acri sour, sharp - acid, acidity, acrid, acidify, acidophilus

Acids, such as those in lemons and other citrus fruits, produce a sour taste.

ag, act move, proceed - reagent, action, reaction, agent, activity

Chemical reagents are necessary for a reaction to proceed.

al, allo other, different - allotrope, alloy, alter, allosteric, alias, alien,

Graphite, charcoal, and diamond are allotropes (different forms) of carbon.

alpha first - alpha particle, alpha helix, alpha ray, alpha position, alpha test

Alpha radiation was the first radiation characterized by Ernest Rutherford.

amin amine - amine, amino acid, vitamin, acetaminophen, deaminate, ammonia

At the center of amino acids are amine groups.

amph double, both - amphoteric, amphibolite, amphibole

Amphoteric species can act both as acids or bases.

an apart - analytical, analysis, anode, anabolism, anabolic

Analytical chemists break compounds apart to determine chemical structure.

-ane single covalent bond - methane, alkane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane, hexane, octane

Methane, ethane, propane and butane have only single bonds.

-ate negatively charged ion - carbonate, phosphate, sulfate, hydrate, bromate, chlorate, iodate

Carbonate, phosphate and sulfate are negatively charged ions.

anti against, opposite, inhibit - antioxidant, antifreeze, antacid, antinodes, antimatter

Antioxidants, such as vitamins C or E, inhibit oxidation.

aqu water - aqueous, aqua regia, aquamarine, aquatic

In aqueous solutions, the solute is dissolved in water.

baro pressure - barometer, bar, barometry, barometric pressure, hyperbaric chamber

Barometers are used to measure air pressure.

beta second - beta particle, beta decay, beta ray, betatron

Beta radiation was the second type of radiation characterized by Ernest Rutherford.

bi two - bivalent, binary compounds, bicarbonate, bimetallic

Bivalent (divalent) elements have a valence of two.

bio life, living - biochemistry, bioassay, biocatalyst, biodegradable

Biochemistry is the chemistry of living systems.

calor heat - calorimeter, calorie, caloric, kilocalorie, calorimetry

Calorimeters measure heat released or absorbed in reactions.

carb coal, carbon - carbohydrate, carbonic acid, bicarbonate, carbon dioxide, carbide, carboxylic acid

Carbohydrates are carbon-based molecules, including sugars, starch and cellulose.

cat down, negative - cathode, catalyst, catabolism, catastrophe

Cathodes are negatively charged electrodes.

cau, caus burn, heat - caustic, cauldron, cauterize, caustic soda

Caustic substances, such as sodium hydroxide, can burn organic tissues.

chem chemical - chemisorption, chemistry, biochemistry, chemoautotroph, chemoreceptor, chemist

In chemisoprtion, the adsorbed substance is held by chemical bonds.

chrom color - chromium, chromosphere, chromatography, monochrome, dicrhomate

Chromium compounds are very colorful.

co, com with, together - conjugate, composition, coefficient, colligative, compress, conduction, convection

Conjugate acids and bases exist with each other, differing only by the presence of a proton.

cry cold - crystal, cryogenic, crystalline, liquid crystal, crystallize, cryoprecipitate

Crystals form when supersaturated solutions are cooled.

de down, lack, from - denature, decomposition, dehydrate, decant, deformation

Denatured proteins lack the critical three-dimensional structure required to function.

dens thick - density, dense, condense, condenser, densimeter

Density is a measure of "thickness" (amount of mass per unit volume).

di double - disaccharide, dipeptide, dichloride, dioxide, dibromide, disulfide, dichroic

Disaccharides are formed by the bonding of two monosaccharides.

dis, dif separate, apart - dissociation, discontinuity, disperse, dispersion, differentiate

Salts dissociate when component ions separate in solution.

duc, -t led, pulled - ductile, product, conduct, induce, deduce, deduction

Metals are ductile and can be pulled to produce wires.

e, ex, ef out, without, from - emit, evaporation, explosion, exothermic, effervescence, effect, effuse

Thermochemists measure the amount of heat emitted from reactions.

electr electricity - electrolyte, electricity, electrode, electromotive force, dielectric, electron

Electricity flows in solutions containing electrolytes.

elem basic - elements, elemental, elementary particle

Elements can't be broken down into more basic substances by normal chemical means.

en in, into - endothermic, endergonic, energy, enthalpy

Endothermic reactions take heat energy in from the environment.

-ene double covalent bond - benzene, alkene, ethene, propene, butene, pentene, polypropylene, toluene

Benzene forms a six-carbon ring with three double covalent bonds bonds.

equ equal - equilibrium, equate, equation, equal, equidistant

Equilibrium is a dynamic condition in which two opposing reactions occur at equal rates.

erg work - energy, erg, bond energy, energetics

Energy is the capacity to perform work.

ex, exo out, outside - exothermic, extrinsic, exterior, extrapolate, external

Exothermic reactions release heat to the outside environment.

ferr, ferro iron - ferromagnetism, ferrous, ferric, ferricyanide, ferrite, ferroalloy

Ferromagnetic materials, such as iron, are strongly attracted to magnets.

fiss cleft, split - nuclear fission, fissionable, fission bomb

Nuclei split during nuclear fission.

fix fix, fasten - fixation, fixture, affix, prefix, suffix, fix

During carbon fixation, atmospheric carbon is fixed into molecules of glucose.

flu flow - fluids, reflux, fluctuate, influx, flux, flux density

Liquids and gasses are classified as fluids because they flow.

fract break, broken - fractional distillation, fraction, refract, fractionate

During fractional distillation, mixtures are broken down and separated by different boiling points.

glyc sweet, sugar - glycolysis, glycogen, glycolipid, glyceride, glycol

During glycolysis, glucose sugar is broken down, and pyruvic acid and energy are released.

graph writing, printing - graphite, chromatography, crystallography, thermography, photography

Graphite is a planar form of carbon that makes gray marks when writing with pencils.

halo salt - halogens, halocline, halite, halogenate

Halogens (group VII) often combine with metals to form salts.

here, hes stick to - cohesive, cohesion, cohere, adhere, adhesion, adhesive, coherent

Cohesive substances stick to each other, while adhesive substances stick to other substances.

hybrid combination - hybrid orbital, hybridize, sp3 hybridization, hybrid bond, hyperon

Hybrid orbitals are produced by the combination of two or more orbitals of the same atom.

hydr water - hydrazine, hydrolysis, dehydrate, hydrogen, rehydrate, dehydration synthesis

Although very different chemically, hydrazine resembles water in that both are colorless liquids.

hyper over, above - (hy)perchloric acid, hypertonic solution, (hy)perchlorate, hyperbaric, hyperacidic

The oxidation state of chlorine in perchloric acid is above the oxidation state in chloric acid.

hypo under, beneath - hypochlorous acid, hypotonic, hypothesis

The oxidation state of chlorine in hypochlorous acid is lower than in chlorous acid.

-ic higher valence - sulfuric, hydrochloric, phosphoric, nitric, bromic, ferric

Sulfur in sulfuric acid has a higher valence than in sulfurous acid.

-ide derived from - bromide, chloride, fluoride, iodide, oxide, dioxide, monoxide, sulfide, hydride

Bromides are derived from bromine.

ign fire - ignite, lignite, ignition, ignitable, igneous

Sulfur can be ignited with a hot flame.

-ile describing - ductile, volatile, tensile, percentile, mobile

Volatility describes a substance's vapor pressure.

-ite negatively charged ion - nitrite, chlorite, bromite, flourite, sulfite

Nitrite is a negatively charged ion.

-ion process - fusion, fission, dilution, solution, adhesion

Fusion is the process of combining (fusing) nuclei to form a heavier nucleus.

iso equal, same - isomers, isotonic, isometric, isotope, isosceles

Isomers are compounds that have the same molecular formula, but different structures.

-ist one who studies - chemist, biochemist, organic chemist, geomorphologist, metalurigst

A chemist is one who studies chemistry.

kilo thousand - kilogram, kilocalorie, kilojoule, kilopascal, kiloton, kilowatt

A kilogram is one thousand grams.

liqu fluid, liquid - deliquescence, liquefy, liquid, liquefaction

Deliquescence is the tendency to become liquid.

lys, lyz loosening, breaking - electrolysis, hydrolysis, catalysis, hydrolyze, acidolysis

Electrolysis is the breaking apart of a substance by an electric current.

malle hammer - malleable, mallet, malleability

Malleability is the ability to bend when hit by a hammer.

mer a part - dimer, polymer, polymerization, monomer, dimerize

Dimers, such as O2 or Cl2, are made of two identical parts.

meter measure - meter, voltammeter, thermometer, metric system, calorimeter, colorimeter, eudiometer

Thermometers are used to measure the intensity of heat energy.

mill one thousand - milliliter, milligram, millibar, milliamp, millimole

A milliliter is one-thousandth of a liter.

misc, mix mix - miscible, immiscible, mix, mixer, mixture

Oil and water are immiscilbe, unable to mix to form a homogeneous mixture.

mon single - monomer, monosodium glutamate, monoglyceride, monobasic, monochromatic, monoxide

Monomers are single molecular units that can join to form polymers.

morph form, shape - amorphous sulfur, dimorphic, geomorphology

Amorphous sulfur does not have a consistent shape.

neg no - negligible, negate, negative, negligence, negate

A negligible measurement error will have no effect.

neutr neither - neutral, neutron, neutralize, neutrality

Neutrons are neither positive nor negative.

nitro nitrogen - nitrogen dioxide, nitroglycerin, nitride, nitric, nitrogen, nitrile, nitrite, nitrosyl, nitrous

Nitrogen dioxide is composed of one nitrogen and two oxygen atoms

non not - nonpolar, nonferrous, nonabrasive, nonenzymatic

Nonpolar substances, such as butane, do not demonstrate polarity.

oct eight - octet rule, octane, octanol, octyl, octagonal

The octet rule describes the tendency of atoms to establish a full set of eight valence electrons.

-on unit - electron, proton, lepton, baryon, fermion, photon, boson

The electron is the smallest unit of electricity.

-ous lower valence - sulfurous, nitrous, bromous, ferrous

Iron in ferrous oxide has a lower valence than in ferric oxide.

oxid, oxy oxygen - oxidizer, oxide, dioxide, oxidize, oxidation, oxidize

Oxidizers resemble oxygen, removing electrons from other substances.

pent five - pentahydrate, pentane, pentose, pentoxide, pentachloride,

Copper sulfate pentahydrate binds five water molecules per copper sulfate unit.

phil love - hydrophilic, nucleophilic, acidophilic, basophilic

Hydrophilic substances are "water-loving" and dissolve rapidly in water.

photo light - photochemical smog, photon, photolysis, photocatalysis, photochemsitry

Photochemical smog contains pollutants that are synthesized in the presence of sunlight.

polar end of axis - polar covalent, polar, dipole, polarimeter, nonpolar

In polar molecules, the ends of the axes carry partial charges.

poly many - polyester, polymer, polysaccharide, polyacrylic, polyvinyl chloride, polyacrylamide

Polyester is a polymer made by bonding many ester groups.

pre before - precursor, precaution, predict, preheat, precede

Precursors are substances that arise before products form.

pyr fire, heat - pyrolysis, pyrotechnics, pyrite, pyroclastic, pyrometer

Pyroloysis is decomposition by heat at high temperatures.

quant amount - quantum, quantity, quantify, quantitative

A quantum is a discrete amount of energy.

radi, ray ray, radius - radioactive, radius, ray, radiant, gamma ray

Radioactive materials emit rays of electromagnetic energy.

re back, again - reflux, reabsorb, reaction, reactant, reactive, rehydrate, remove, reduction, reheat

During reflux, vapor condenses, returns and is vaporized again.

sacchar sugar - monosaccharide, disaccharide, polysaccharide, Saccharomyces

Monosaccharides, such as glucose and fructose, are sugars.

sat full, maximum - saturate, satisfy, polyunsaturated, supersaturated, unsaturated

Saturated solutions contain the maximum amount of solute that can be held in solution.

semi half, partial - semiconductor, semipermeable, semisolid, semicrystalline

Semiconductors are partially conductive.

sol dissolve - solubility, solution, dissolve, soluble, solvent

Solubility is a measure of a substance's potential to dissolve in a specific solvent.

spec look - spectator ions, specimen, specific, spectrum, specifications

Spectator ions "look on", but are not involved in reactions.

sub under, below - subscript, subatomic, submerge, subtract, subscale, sublimation, sublimate, substrate

Subscripts are numbers or letters placed below a term, such as the "2" in H20.

super above, beyond - supersaturate, superheat, supercool, superscript, superfluid, supernatant, superoxide

A solution is supersaturated when its concentration is increased beyond the saturation point.

therm heat - thermochemistry, thermometer, therm, endothermic, exothermic, thermite

Thermochemistry studies changes in heat energy accompanying chemical and physical changes.

thesis statement, arranging - hypothesis, synthesis, thesis, photosynthesis, chemosynthesis

A hypothesis is a testable statement and proposed explanation.

trans across, through - trans-fatty acid, transition elements, transaminase, trans-, transfer, transmutation

In trans-fatty acids, carbons are situated across from each other at the double bonds.

un not - unsaturated, unbonded, untested, unheated, undissociated, unstable, unfavorable

Unsaturated bonds have not been saturated with hydrogen.

vac empty - vacuum, vacate, evacuate, vacant, vacuous

A vacuum is an empty place, void of matter.

val strength, worth - equivalence point, equivalent, validate, validity, evaluate, value

At the equivalence point, the strength of the base is equal to the strength of the acid.

-yne triple covalent bond - alkyne, ethyne, butyne, propyne

Alkynes have one or more triple covalent bonds.