Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Unit 4: Organizing Atoms and Electrons—The Periodic Table

Glossary

Anion
A negatively charged atom or molecule.
Cation
A positively charged atom or molecule.
Diatomic elements
The elements that only are found in nature as pairs covalently bound together, for example oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2).
Electron configuration
The arrangement of electrons in the orbitals of an atom.
Isotopes
Forms of an element that have the same number of protons, but different numbers of neutrons.
Malleable
Describes matter that with increased heat or pressure can have its shape changed, as if it had been hit by a hammer.
Orbitals
The probable location and energy state of electrons.
Polyatomic ions
Charged molecules with more than one atom.
Spin
A quantum mechanical property associated with an electron that can be plus or minus one-half.
Valence electrons
In general, the electrons in the outermost shell (the shell with the highest number). For most common elements, these are the s and p electrons.

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