English Vocabulary: Science & Technology

Free ESL in Canada English lessons for international students to study Science & Technology in Canada or USA during an exchange program. Science & Technology vocabulary is necessary for exchange students to succeed during an exchange program in the USA or Canada. Other grammar topics include vocabulary, parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, tenses, verbals, conditionals and writing.

Bernoulli's principle.
A law that states that, for a fluid that is flowing steadily, its pressure is low when its velocity is high and its pressure is high when its velocity is low.

Biogeochemical cycle.
The cycling of matter within the biosphere (e.g., the water cycle).

Biome.
An area with a characteristic geographic and climatic pattern that supports characteristic animal and plant populations (e.g., boreal forest).

Biosphere.
The portion of the planet that supports life and the living organisms within it.

Buoyant force.
The upward force on objects submerged in fluids. For some objects it can be sufficient to overcome completely the force of gravity and cause the object to float.

Cam and cam follower.
A mechanism that changes rotary (circular) motion into linear motion (motion in a straight line).

Capacity.
The greatest amount that a container can hold. Capacity is usually measured in litres or millilitres.

Chemical change.
A process in which new substances with new properties are formed.

Classification (or biological) key.
A list of alternatives (e.g., backbone or no backbone) used by scientists as an aid in identifying an unknown plant or animal. (There are other kinds of classification keys but this is the most common.)

Community.
A group of all the interdependent plant and animal species found in a habitat.

Concept map.
A diagram that shows various relationships among concepts. A concept map can also contain references to events, objects, laws, themes, classroom activities, or other items related to the concepts.

Concrete materials.
Objects and materials that can be handled. Students make use of these in their explorations and investigations.

Conductivity.
The ability of a substance to transmit electricity or heat.

Conductor.
A substance that can transmit electricity or heat.

Conservation of energy.
The principle that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but can only be changed from one form into another.

Cumulonimbus cloud.
A principal cloud type, exceptionally dense and vertically developed, occurring either as isolated clouds or as a line or wall of clouds with separated upper portions.

Data.
Facts or information.

Database.
An organized or sorted list of facts or information, usually generated by a computer.

Decomposer.
An organism that breaks down dead organic matter.

Density.
The mass per unit volume of a substance (density = mass ÷ volume).

Diffusion.
The net movement of molecules from an area of higher concentration of molecules to an area of lower concentration of molecules.

Displacement.
The amount of fluid displaced by an object that is put into the fluid.

Dissolve.
Mix a solute completely with a solvent to form a solution.

Ecological niche.
The pattern of relationships between a species and all the living and non-living things within its habitat.

Ecology.
The study of all the interactions that occur within the biosphere.

Ecosystem.
A group of living organisms that, along with their abiotic environment, form a self-regulating system through which energy and materials are transferred.

Efficiency.
The comparison of the useful work or energy provided by a machine or system with the actual work or energy supplied to the machine or system. Efficiency is usually stated as a percentage.

Effort.
The force supplied to a machine in order to produce an action.

Expectations.
The knowledge and skills that students are expected to develop and to demonstrate in their class work, on tests, and in various other activities on which their achievement is assessed. The new Ontario curriculum for Science and Technology identifies expectations for each grade from Grade 1 to Grade 8.

Fair test.
Investigation carried out under strictly controlled conditions to ensure accuracy and reliability of results. In a fair test, all variables are controlled except the one under investigation.

Food chain.
A sequence of feeding relationships between organisms in an ecosystem.

Food web.
A network of feeding relationships in an ecosystem that develops because few organisms confine themselves to a single source of food.

Fossil fuel.
A fuel formed from the partially decomposed remains of plants and animals buried in the earth over an extremely long period of time (e.g., coal, oil, natural gas).

Frequency.
The number of cycles completed by a periodic quantity (e.g., a vibrating object) in a unit of time. Frequency is usually expressed as cycles per second.

Fulcrum.
The point of rotation of a lever. The fulcrum is also called the pivot.

Gear.
A rotating wheel-like object with teeth around its rim. A gear is used to transmit force to another gear with matching teeth.

Geothermal energy.
An energy source derived from the heat of the earth.

Habitat.
The area in which a species lives.

Hydraulic power.
Power that comes from the pressure of a liquid, usually oil. The liquid is forced through hoses to the area where the force is needed.

Hydraulics.
The study of pressure in liquids.

Input.
Anything that is put into a system. Sources of input include people, materials, and energy.

Insulation.
Material that does not conduct heat or electricity very well.

Lift.
Upward force on a forward-moving object that results when the air flow around the top of the object is faster than the air flow beneath it.

Linkage.
A system of levers used to transmit motion.

Load.
The weight of an object that is moved by a machine, or the resistance to movement that a machine has to overcome.

Mass.
The amount of matter in an object. Mass is usually measured in grams or kilograms.

Mass concentration.
The mass of solute dissolved in a given volume of solution. May be expressed in grams per millilitre or grams per litre.

Mechanical advantage.
The ratio of the force produced by a machine or system (sometimes called the load) to the force applied to the machine or system (sometimes called the effort force).

Mechanical mixture.
A mixture made up of two or more easily identifiable parts that can be easily separated, for example, a mixture of sand and iron filings.

Media works.
Forms of communication that include written or spoken words, sound, and/or pictures, such as brochures, posters, magazines, newspapers, documentary films, videos, advertisements, cartoons, commercials, news reports, nature programs, and travelogues. Audio elements include speech, music, background sounds, sound effects, volume, silence, narration, pace, and sequence of sounds. Compositional elements include form (structure), theme, setting, atmosphere, and point of view. Visual elements include lighting, colour, images, size and type of lettering, size of images, sequence of images, symbols, graphics, camera angles, logos, speed of presentation, shape of design, credits, details of sponsorship, animation, and live action.

Multi-media.
A variety of different media, such as written text, sound, graphics, and video.

Non-renewable energy sources.
Energy sources that are limited and that cannot be replaced once they are used up (e.g., coal, oil, natural gas).

Nucleus.
The control organelle of a living cell.

Organelle.
A structure within a cell that has a specific function.

Osmosis.
Diffusion of a solvent, usually water, through a selectively permeable membrane.

Output.
The actual result obtained from a system (e.g., the light that comes on when the light switch on an electrical system is pressed).

Pascal's law or principle.
A law that states that pressure exerted on a contained fluid is transmitted undiminished in all directions throughout the fluid and perpendicular to the walls of the container.

Physical change.
A change of properties that does not change the type of substance.

Pitch.
The quality of a sound that is determined by the frequency of the wave. The term pitch is often substituted for the term frequency of vibration in reference to sound waves (e.g., in musical instruments).

Pneumatics.
The study of pressure in gases.

Population.
All of the members of one species found in a particular area at a particular time.

Pressure.
The force acting perpendicular to a unit area (pressure = force ÷ area).

Producer.
An organism that produces its own food. In an ecosystem, a producer is an organism that is capable of carrying out photosynthesis.

Qualitative data.
Information gathered in observations in which no measurement takes place.

Qualitative property.
A characteristic of a substance that can be described but not measured.

Quantitative data.
Data that consist of numbers and/or units of measurement. Quantitative data are obtained through measurement and through mathematical calculations.

Quantitative property.
A characteristic of a substance that can be measured.

Renewable energy sources.
Natural energy sources that can be replaced. For example, when trees are cut down for lumber, new trees can be planted in their place.

Saturated solution.
A solution in which no more solute can be dissolved at a particular temperature.

Scatter plot.
A graph that attempts to show a relationship between two variables by means of points plotted on a coordinate grid. Also called scatter diagram.

Scientific notation.
The writing of a number as the product of a number between 1 and 10 and a power of 10 (e.g., in scientific notation, 58 000 000 is written 5.8 x 107).

Shear.
Two forces that act on an object in opposite directions along the same line or plane (e.g., the movement of the two blades of a pair of scissors).

SI.
The international system of measurement units, including such terms as centimetre and kilogram. (From the French Système international d'unités).

Solubility.
The property of being able to dissolve. More specifically, it refers to the mass of a solute that can dissolve in a given amount of solvent to form a saturated solution at a particular temperature.

Solute.
The substance that dissolves in a solvent to form a solution.

Solvent.
The substance that dissolves a solute to form a solution.

Stress.
Forces created inside a material or an object by other forces acting on it from the outside.

Structure.
A supporting framework (e.g., a bridge or building that is built to sustain a load).

Strut.
A part of a structure whose function is to resist compressive forces. It may also be said that a strut is "under compression".

Succession.
The slow, orderly, progressive replacement of one community by another during the development of vegetation in an area.

Survey.
A sampling of information, often compiled by asking people questions or interviewing them.

Sustainable development.
Development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Table.
An orderly arrangement of facts set out for easy reference (e.g., an arrangement of numerical values in vertical or horizontal columns).

Tally chart.
A chart that uses tally marks to count data and record frequencies.

Tension.
A force that stretches an object.

Thrust.
Pushing power that is based on the principle that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Tie.
A part of a structure that is under tension.

Torque.
The product of a force and the perpendicular distance to a turning axis.

Torsion.
A force that causes an object to twist along its axis.

Triangulation.
A means of strengthening a structure that involves the use of the triangle as a strong, rigid shape.

Truss.
A structural element made up of a series of triangular frames.

Variable.
A factor that affects the results of an investigation. Variables are things that could change during an investigation or experiment (e.g., the amount of sunlight received by a plant).

Volume.
The amount of space occupied by an object. Volume is measured in cubic units such as cubic centimetres.

Wavelength.
The distance between the crests of a wave of light as it travels through space.

Weight.
The pull of gravity on an object. Unlike mass, weight changes with location.

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