Primary General Science Glossary

This is a general primary science glossary. For class specific glossaries please go to the specific subjects

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A habitat is a home environment for plants and animals or other organisms. 


A form of energy that is transferred by a difference in temperature.


Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and an atomic weight of 4.0026, which is represented by the symbol He. Helium is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas. It also makes up a small amount of the air we breathe. It originates from the Greek word ‘helios’ meaning the sun. Helium is commonly used as a cooling agent in superconductors, cryogenics, inflating balloons as well as inflating airships.


Hernivores are animals whose diet mostly consists of plants.

Hering Illusion

This is an optical illusion named by Ewald Hering. The vertical or horizontal lines are all straight, but look as if they were bent. The distortion is produced by a lined pattern on the background that simulates a perspective design and creates a false impression of depth.

Hermann Grid Illusion

This is an optical illusion named by ‘Ludimar Hermann’ in the 1800’s. The illusion is characterised by blobs perceived at the intersections of a light-coloured grid between black squares.


A chemical substance produced in a living organism which controls the rate of biochemical processes.


The science of caring for gardens or gardening; small scale agriculture.

Hot-air balloon

Balloon for travel through the air in a basket suspended below a large bag or ‘envelope’ of heated air.


The relative humidity is a measure of the amount of water vapour in the air (at a specific temperature) compared to the maximum amount of water vapour air could hold at that temperature, and is given as a percentage value.

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