Dictionary

Not sure about the meaning of a word? That’s ok! I aim to make this blog as accessible as possible, a place for learning! Simply scroll down to find the word you are looking for, or press CtrlF on your keyboard to search directly or by category (Space, Physics, Particle Physics, Biology, Chemistry). If it isn’t there, feel free to drop me an email at nevertrustanatom.blog@gmail.com and I will make sure to answer to the best of my ability.

A

  • Apex Predator: An organism at the top of a food chain, and is not directly hunted by other animals as a food source (Biology)
  • ATP: Adenosine Triphosphate carries energy within cells and is a product of Photosynthesis and used in Respiration (Biology)
  • ADP: Adenosine Diphosphate is turned into ATP to store energy (Biology)
  • Atrophy: When muscles (or any other organ) become weakened or waste away. Often due to disease of lack of use. Astronauts face muscle atrophy when in space. (Space, Biology)
  • Anabolism: A process of metabolism that constructs larger molecules from simpler ones (Biology)

B

  • Bosons: Force-Carrying Particles (Particle Physics)
  • Bipedal: Walks on two legs (Biology)
  • Biomarker: A naturally occurring characteristic/molecule/gene by which something can be identified, eg. the presence of life or a disease. (Biology)

C

  • Catabolism: A process of metabolism that involves the break down of complex molecules into smaller molecules.
  • Cell: The smallest functional unit of an organism, consisting of cytoplasm, genetic material and other organelles enclosed by a membrane (Biology)
  • Chlorophyll: A green pigment found in photosynthesisers that can absorb light. (Biology)
  • Chloroplast: A small organelle in plant cells where photosynthesis takes place. (Biology)
  • Cosmonaut: A Russian astronaut  (Space)

D

  • Dark Matter: Mysterious matter that has enough mass to bind galaxies together, but does not interact with light so is all but invisible. (Physics, Space)
  • Dark Energy: Mysterious Force which causes the universe’s expansion to accelerate. (Physics, Space)
  • Denature: To destroy the characteristic properties of (usually) an enzyme, thereby making it unusable, often because the active site has changed shape due to changed temperature or pH. (Biology)
  • Density: How tightly packed the particles in a substance are. Mass divided by volume. (Physics)
  • Differentiation: The process by which cells etc acquire specialised properties. (Biology)
  • DNA: genetic material found inside a cell (Biology)

E

  • Elements: Different types of atoms that are distinguished by their proton number and cannot be chemically broken down any further. (Chemistry, Particle Physics)
  • Electrons: Tiny negatively charged particles that surround an atomic nucleus (Chemistry, Particle Physics)
  • Embryonic: Related to an unborn organism.
  • Enzymes: A biological catalyst for a specific reaction in a cell. (Biology)
  • Evolution: The process from which new organisms have developed from earlier forms as a result of genetic mutations (Biology)
  • Ectotherm: A cold-blooded animal. (Biology)

F

  • Fundamental Forces: Forces that act between matter particles on a quantum scale. AKA Bosons: Strong Force, Electromagnetic Force, Weak force, Gravity (Particle Physics)
  • Fermion: Matter Particle. Split into Quarks and Leptons. (Particle Physics)

G

  • Gluons: Carry the strong force, binds quarks together and overcomes the electromagnetic force to form a nucleus. (Particle Physics)

H

  • Hominin: An organism of the genus ‘homo’- an ‘ancestor’ of the modern human. (Biology)
  • Homeostasis: The ability of an organism to internally remain in optimum conditions, unaffected by external factors. (Biology, Physics)
  • Hypothermia: The state of having a dangerously low body temperature (Biology)
  • Hyperthermia: The state of having a dangerously high body temperature (Biology)

I

  • Insolation: the amount of solar radiation reaching a given area (Physics)
  • Ions: An atom that is charged due to the loss or gain of electrons, often as a result of chemical bonding or ionising radiation (Chemistry, Particle Physics)
  • Isotopes: An atom that has a different number of neutrons to the number of protons (which is constant in an element) (Chemistry, Particle Physics)

J

K

  • Karman Line: 100km up, defines where space begins, despite being otherwise and arbitrary number. (Space)

L

  • Lepton: A fundamental matter particle that is not affected by the Strong Force. (Particle Physics)

M

  • Muscle Atrophy: Reduction to the mass and volume of a muscle, hence rendering it weaker.  (Space, Biology)
  • Multi-cellular: An organism composed of many cells working in unison. (Biology)
  • Metabolism: All the chemical reactions that take place in a cell to break or make molecules. (Biology)
  • Micrometeorite: A small fragment of rock or metal that travels through space at incredible speed, posing great danger to satellites and spacecraft.  (Space)
  • Mitosis: A type of cell division that results in two identical two the parent nucleus, in terms of having the same chromosomes. (Biology)

N

  • Neutron: A particle found in an atom’s nucleus with no charge (Chemistry, Particle Physics)

O

  • Opposition: When two planets are directly opposite each other. (Space)
  • Organelle: Specialized structures found inside a cell (Biology)

P

  • Protons: A positively charged particle found in an atom’s nucleus. (Chemistry, Particle Physics)
  • Photons: Bosons that carry the electromagnetic force, allows opposing charges to attract each other and like charges to repel, hence keeping atoms together, and carries light waves (Particle Physics)
  • Permeability: The ability of a substance to allow another substance to pass through it (Chemistry)
  • Porosity: A measure of the empty spaces in an object- how holey it is! (Chemistry)
  • Photosynthesis: The process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to create sugars from carbon dioxide and water. It also generates oxygen as a by-product. (Biology)
  • Photonics: A branch of tech/engineering concerning the properties and usage of light (Physics, Particle Physics, SciComm)
  • Pulsar: A rapidly rotating neutron star that releases radiation from its poles, proved by Jocelyn Bell Burnell. (Physics, Space)
  • Payload: The cargo/carrying capacity of an aircraft or rocket. For example the payload of a DragonX module to the ISS might include food, new experiments and replacements for broken equipment. (Space)
  • Pluripotent: A cell that is capable of turning into different types of cell. Usually an immature of stem cell. (Biology)

Q

  • Quark: A fundamental matter particle which can come together to build larger particles eg. protons and neutrons, via the strong force. (Particle Physics)

R

  • Radioactive Decay: When an unstable atomic nucleus releases radiation in order to become stable (by reducing its energy or changing into a stable isotope.) emitting a particle or wave (Particle Physics)
  • Respiration: The chemical process of turning glucose and oxygen into ATP, releasing energy. (Biology)

S

  • Standard Matter: The normal matter and energy described by the Standard Model. This makes up stars, planets and everything you see in your daily life. (Particle Physics)
  • Standard Model: A mathematical description and table of the elementary particles of matter and the fundamental forces. (Particle Physics)
  • Supernova: The end of a large stars life. When fusion stops, it collapses in on itself and then explodes, creating the conditions needed to create heavy elements. (Space, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Sub-orbital: A trajectory that (typically) reaches space, but does not enter orbit/ complete a full orbit. (Space, Physics)
  • Stem Cells: Unspecialised/ undifferentiated cells that have the ability to produce other types of cells. (Biology)
  • SciComm: Science Communication- the use of social media, and other media (eg. TV or Podcasts) to inform others about science.

T

  • Telemedicine: The remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by telecommunication technology (basically facetime).
  • Thylakoid: A group of flattened organelles (within an organelle?) arranged in stacks within a chloroplast where the light-dependant reactions of photosynthesis takes place. (Biology)

U

V

W

  • W Bosons: Carry the Weak Force, changes a particle’s charge. (Particle Physics)

X

  • X-ray Crystallography: the study of crystals and their structure by means of the diffraction of X-rays by the regularly spaced atoms of crystalline materials.

Y

Z

  • Z Bosons: Carry the Weak Force, changes a particle’s energy. (Particle Physics)

Hopefully this clears some things up!

Let me know if there are any other words you aren’t sure about! Just drop me an email or leave your question in the comments.

☆☆☆

If you can’t trust an atom… trust in science!

☆it’s like magic, but it’s true whether you believe in it or not!☆

See you next time!

☆☆☆