The Chemistry of Life
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The Chemistry of Life
The smallest component of an element that contains all of the properties of that element. All atoms, with the exception of hydrogen which does not contain a neutron, are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons and form together to make molecules.
- Atomic number
Equal to the number of protons an element contains.
A positively charged particle that determines the number that an element carries on the periodic table. Resides within the heart of the atom, the nucleus. Has a mass of 1 and a charge of +1.
A negatively charged particle that travels within the space surrounding the nucleus. Has a negligible mass and a charge of -1.
- Mass number
Equal to the number of electrons an element contains.
Like protons, these subatomic particles reside within the nucleus. They have a mass of 1 and no charge.
The hub of the atom. The protons and the neutrons reside within this "heart" and the electrons revolve around it. Has a net zero charge.
When an atom doesn't contain the same number of protons and electrons
When two or more elements ( can be different or similar) interact and the result is the formation of molecules. This results because elements are most stable when all of their electron shells are filled, and will share, donate or accept electrons from other elements in order to achieve this goal.
- Ionic Bonds
A bond that is formed between two different elements when one element shares an electron with the other element, usually making the weaker element stronger or more stable. These bonds are formed because the positive and negative charges between the two ions attract.
- Covalent Bonds
- Non-polar covalent bonds
This type of bond forms between two atoms of the same element of between different elements that share the electrons equally.
- Polar covalent bonds
In this type of bond, the electrons shared by the atom spend more time closer to one nucleus than they do the other. In this case, a slight charge develops because of the unequal distribution of subatomic particles.
A bond in which elements both share the use of the same electron. The strongest and most common bond between elements. Non-polar. This type of bond forms between the elements that make up the biological molecules in our bodies.This bond is a lower energy state for all elements involved.
- Hydrogen bonds
- Water molecules
Happens when the positive charge of the hydrogen atom is attracted to the negative charge of a nearby element. This forms a weak bond. This type of bond is common- if it were not for hydrogen bonds, water would be a gas at room temperature.
- Octet Rule
Because the outermost shells of the elements with low atomic numbers can hold up to 8 electrons- this is so called because these particular elements work to achieve stability by filling all 8 shells with electrons.
Positive Ions that are formed by losing electrons.
Negative ions that are formed by gaining electrons.
When an element does not contain the same amount of protons and electrons
- Electron transfer
Movement of electrons from one element to another.
- Van de Waals interactions
This type of bond is a week attraction of interaction between molecules. They occur between polar, covalent bound atoms in different molecules.
Occupies space, has mass and is composed of elements. Is what life is made up of in its most fundamental level.
Substances that cannot be broken down or transformed chemically into other substances. Each individual element is made up of atoms. 118 elements have been named, though only 92 occur naturally. Designated by its chemical symbol and they each have unique properties that distinguish them from each other.
Isotopes that are unstable and have to lose protons, subatomic particles or energy to form a more stable element. Also called radioisotopes.
The same form of an element already named- though a different type because it has the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons. Carbon, potassium and uranium have naturally occurring isotopes.
Periodic table of elements
A way of arranging the different types of elements. This chart contains the atomic number and the relative atomic mass of each element. Also provides key information about the properties of elements by color coding.
- Hydrogen and Oxygen Atoms
- Polar Covalent Bonds
- Moderates temperature
Results from hydrogen bonds being disrupted and being released to the surface of the water where they float into the air and eventually form rain-completing the water cycle
- Freezing- Ice
Results from the hydrogen bonds becoming rigid and forming a lattice-like structure
Temperature is the measure of the motion of molecules.
Water-loving. When a substance readily forms hydrogen bonds with water and can dissolve in water.
Water- fearing. Will not dissolve in water. With non-polar compounds.
The release of water molecules at the surface of a liquid.
- Simple Sugar
Basically Glucose in a storage form in humans and animals. This is made up of monomers of glucose.
Makes up the base of most cell walls in plants. One of the most abundant biopolymers.
These are simple sugars, the most common is which is glucose.
Form when two monosaccharides undergo a dehydration molecule. Common ones are lactose, maltose and sucrose.
A long chain of monosaccharides linked by covalent bonds.
The stored form of sugars in plants that breaks down into smaller molecules in order to be digested and processed.
- Saturated Fatty Acids
Saturated with hydrogen, meaning the number of hydrogen atoms attached to the carbon skeleton has reached the maximum number available.
- Unsaturated fatty acids
The major constituent of the plasma membrane.
Help with things like digestion
Chemical signaling molecules.
- Amino acids
The building blocks of proteins. The unique structure and order of amino acids in polypeptide chains makes up the differences between different DNA of living organisms.
Most abundant and most diverse functioning of all biological molecules on the planet.
Makes up the foundation for many different molecules forming the components of life. Can bond with many other molecules including nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus.
- Nucleic Acids