Test the effect of temperature on reaction time


amplitude: A measure of the height of a recurring wave in some signal, water or beam of radiation. In sound, wave amplitude corresponds with intensity — loudness or softness.

angle: The space (usually measured in degrees) between two intersecting lines or surfaces at or close to the point where they meet.

antacid: A medicine used to neutralize the acid in the stomach.

app: Short for application, or a computer program designed for a specific task.

aspirin: A common non-prescription drug, also known as acetylsalicylic acid. For more than a century, it has been widely used to treat headaches, joint pain, muscle pain, toothaches and more. It also reduces fevers and inflammation. Ancient papyrus texts indicate that as long as 5,000 years ago, the Sumerians and Egyptians were using willow bark (the source of aspirin’s active ingredient) to treat aches and pains.

audio: Having to do with sound.

average: (in science) A term for the arithmetic mean, which is the sum of a group of numbers that is then divided by the size of the group.

carbon: A chemical element that is the physical basis of all life on Earth. Carbon exists freely as graphite and diamond. It is an important part of coal, limestone and petroleum, and is capable of self-bonding, chemically, to form an enormous number of chemically, biologically and commercially important molecules.

carbon dioxide: (or CO2) A colorless, odorless gas produced by all animals when the oxygen they inhale reacts with the carbon-rich foods that they’ve eaten. Carbon dioxide also is released when organic matter burns (including fossil fuels like oil or gas). Carbon dioxide acts as a greenhouse gas, trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. Plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen during photosynthesis, the process they use to make their own food.

constant: Continuous or uninterrupted. 

data: Facts and/or statistics collected together for analysis but not necessarily organized in a way that gives them meaning. For digital information (the type stored by computers), those data typically are numbers stored in a binary code, portrayed as strings of zeros and ones.

decibel: A measurement scale used for the intensity of sounds that can be picked up by the human ear. It starts at zero decibels (dB), a sound hardly audible to people with good hearing. A sound 10 times louder would be 10 dB. Because the scale is logarithmic, a sound 100 times louder than 0 dB would be 20 dB; one that’s 1,000 times louder than 0 dB would be described as 30 dB.

degree: (in geometry) A unit of measurement for angles. Each degree equals one three-hundred-and-sixtieth of the circumference of a circle.

dissolve: To turn a solid into a liquid and disperse it into that starting liquid. (For instance, sugar or salt crystals, which are solids, will dissolve into water. Now the crystals are gone and the solution is a fully dispersed mix of the liquid form of the sugar or salt in water.)

equation: In mathematics, the statement that two quantities are equal. In geometry, equations are often used to determine the shape of a curve or surface.

error: (In statistics) The non-deterministic (random) part of the relationship between two or more variables.

error bar: A line (it can be vertical or horizontal) drawn through a point or a bar on a graph. The distance from one end of the line to the other represents how precise a measurement is, or how far the real value of something might fall from the data point reported in the experiment.

factor: Something that plays a role in a particular condition or event; a contributor.

function: The specific role some structure or device plays. (in math) A relationship between two or more variables in which one variable (the dependent one) is exactly determined by the value of the other variables.

glass: A hard, brittle substance made from silica, a mineral found in sand. Glass usually is transparent and fairly inert (chemically nonreactive). Aquatic organisms called diatoms build their shells of it.

hydrogen: The lightest element in the universe. As a gas, it is colorless, odorless and highly flammable. It’s an integral part of many fuels, fats and chemicals that make up living tissues. It’s made of a single proton (which serves as its nucleus) orbited by a single electron.

ion: (adj. ionized) An atom or molecule with an electric charge due to the loss or gain of one or more electrons. An ionized gas, or plasma, is where all of the electrons have been separated from their parent atoms.

kinetic energy: The energy held by an object due to its being in motion. The amount of this energy contained will depend on both the mass (usually weight) of the object and its speed.

liquid: A material that flows freely but keeps a constant volume, like water or oil.

molecule: An electrically neutral group of atoms that represents the smallest possible amount of a chemical compound. Molecules can be made of single types of atoms or of different types. For example, the oxygen in the air is made of two oxygen atoms (O2), but water is made of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom (H2O).

particle: A minute amount of something.

plastic: Any of a series of materials that are easily deformable; or synthetic materials that have been made from polymers (long strings of some building-block molecule) that tend to be lightweight, inexpensive and resistant to degradation. (adj.) A material that is able to adapt by changing shape or possibly even changing its function.

point: (in mathematics) A precise point in space that is so small that it has no size. It merely has an address.

range: The full extent or distribution of something. For instance, a plant or animal’s range is the area over which it naturally exists. (in math or for measurements) The extent to which values can vary (such as the highest to lowest temperatures). Also, the distance within which something can be reached or perceived.

right angle: A 90-degree angle, equivalent to any inside corner on a square.

sensor: A device that picks up information on physical or chemical conditions — such as temperature, barometric pressure, salinity, humidity, pH, light intensity or radiation — and stores or broadcasts that information. Scientists and engineers often rely on sensors to inform them of conditions that may change over time or that exist far from where a researcher can measure them directly.

smartphone: A cell (or mobile) phone that can perform a host of functions, including search for information on the internet.

sodium: A soft, silvery metallic element that will interact explosively when added to water. It is also a basic building block of table salt (a molecule of which consists of one atom of sodium and one atom of chlorine: NaCl). It is also found in sea salt.

sodium bicarbonate: Also known as baking soda, this white, chemical powder occurs naturally. Its formula is NaHCO 3 . It also has been used as a natural product to extinguish small electrical and grease fires. When ingested, it can help settle acid stomachs. Indeed, it is the main ingredient of many antacids sold in grocery stores.

solid: Firm and stable in shape; not liquid or gaseous.

solution: A liquid in which one chemical has been dissolved into another.

standard deviation: (in statistics) The amount that each a set of data varies from the mean.

tool: An object that a person or other animal makes or obtains and then uses to carry out some purpose such as reaching food, defending itself or grooming.

vertical: A term for the direction of a line or plane that runs up and down, as the vertical post for a streetlight does. It’s the opposite of horizontal, which would run parallel to the ground.


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