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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Picture of Joseph Wainaina

Joseph Wainaina


Any water-soluble compound having a sour taste and capable of turning litmus red and reacting with a base to form a salt. Acid has a pH-level of less than 7.0 (A pH of 7 is neutral).

Acid rain

Rain which is unusually acidic (pH of less than the natural range of 5 to 6), caused mainly by atmospheric pollution with sulphur dioxide and nitrogen compounds.


Adaptation is the process by which living creatures (animals and plants) adapt or evolve to survive in their environment and to live amongst a specific group of other living things. 


A mixture of gases (especially oxygen) required for breathing; the stuff that the atmosphere consists of.

Air pressure (Atmospheric pressure)

Air pressure is the weight of the atmosphere pressing down on the earth. It is measured by a barometer in units called millibars.

Air resistance

Air resistance is the force on an object moving through air. Air resistance affects how fast or slowly objects move through the air. 

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was born in Germany and was a Jewish philosopher and author, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time. In 1933, he joined the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey and lived and worked there until his death. Einstein is probably familiar to most people for his mathematical equation about the nature of energy, E = MC2.


Relating to or containing an alkali, hence having a pH greater than 7. Alkaline batteries have potassium hydroxide as its electrolyte and a zinc / manganese dioxide cell.


The height above sea level or above the earth’s surface.


A sperm whale secretion. Sperm whales produce it to protect their stomachs from the beaks of the cuttlefish they swallow, and formerly valued greatly in the manufacturing process of perfumes.

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